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06/01/2012 China (ChinaAid) – A court has ruled that local police and religious affairs officials had acted illegally in banning a house church student fellowship group but then dismissed the administrative lawsuit brought against them by the student group leader, whom the police had put under administrative detention for 15 days.

The ruling by the court of the first instance on May 15 overturned the ban on the group, but in dismissing the lawsuit brought by Liang Guangzhong, the plaintiff in effect enjoyed no legal protection of his rights which had been violated last September by the Ulanqab police and the Bureau of Minority and Religious Affairs of Ulanqab’s Jining district when they moved against the Mengfu (Blessed) Fellowship, a house church gathering for students.

The authorities put Liang 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.

Liu Peifu, from the well-known Beijing Gongxin Law Firm, defended Liang before the Jining District Court at the 9 a.m. hearing on April 27.

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