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05/02/2012 China (ChinaAid) – An administrative lawsuit brought against local police and religious affairs officials by a house church leader who was administratively detained for 15 days was heard in a court of the first instance last Friday, ChinaAid has learned.

The suit stemmed from a ban imposed last September by the local police and the Bureau of Minority and Religious Affairs of Ulanqab’s Jining district on the Mengfu (Blessed) Fellowship, a house church gathering for students. The authorities also put the fellowship’s leader, Liang Guangzhong, into administrative detention for 15 days for “illegal evangelism” and confiscated 2110 yuan (US$331) from the offering collection box, and an Acer notebook computer, a projector, a camera, a stereo system, and 17 videotapes.

Liang’s lawyer Liu Peifu, from the well-known Beijing Gongxin Law Firm, told the Jining District Court at the 9 a.m. hearing on Friday that:

1. There was insufficient evidence for the administrative penalty imposed by the defendants

2. The defendants acted in serious violation of the administrative enforcement procedures

In his conclusion, lawyer Liu said the plaintiff’s actions did not constitute illegal evangelism. The decision by the defendants to impose administrative penalties was based on insufficient evidence; the law enforcement procedures were in violation of the law and constituted wrongful application of the law and is both illegal and invalid. Therefore, he asked the court to uphold the plaintiff’s claim.

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