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Fushan House Church Christian Sentenced to 7-Years in Prison

ICC Note:

Chinese government sentences house church leaders in questionable trial

11/27/09 China (ChinaAid)–ChinaAid just learned that the trial of Linfen house church leaders in Shanxi province was held from 9:00 AM to about 10:00 PM on November 25 (Beijing time), lasting over 12 hours. Pastors Yang Rongli, Wang Xiaoguang, Yang Xuan, Cui Jiaxing, and Zhang Huamei have been been held in detention since their unwarranted arrests on Friday, September 25, 2009, when they attempted to travel to Beijing an lodge a formal complaint about the destruction of their church to the Central governing authorities. Their trial was held in the No. 12 Trial Room at People’s Court of Raodu District, Linfen City, Shanxi province.

The verdicts were severe and were announced immediately following the trial. Two criminal charges were used– the crime of “illegally occupying farming land” and “disturbing transportation order by gathering masses.” Sister Yang Rongli received 7 years severe sentence for both charges; Pastor Wang 3 yrs for the first charge, brother Yang Xuan, 3 and a half years, and Cui Jiaxing earned 4 and a half years for the first charge; Sister Zhang Huamei was found guilty of the second charge, and sentenced to 4 years in prison.

The Court’s conduct throughout the trial clearly indicated the government had decided upon the verdict and prepared it in advance. There were only two 20 minutes breaks for recess, and only four family members of the convicted prisoners were allowed to be present during the trial. Government prosecutors showed over 1000 pages of so-called “evidence materials” related to this case, but the defense lawyers were only allowed to review about 50 pages before the trial to prepare their defense. The six Christian rights defense lawyers, including reknowned Attorneys Li Fangping (Simon) and Zhang Kai (Kevin), presented a very clear and satisfactory defense of the innocence of the five church leaders. Three of the accused church leaders were seen in excellent spirit with clear mind, when the lawyers’ were presenting their case.

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