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Seven Christians criminally detained in Inner Mongolia; nearly ten attorneys willing to defend them
ICC Note:
Multiple Christian human rights attorneys in China have expressed an interest in defending seven Christian missionaries in Inner Mongolia after they were arrested and charged spreading a “cult”. The Christians, which include several medical students from other parts of China, could face “re-education” through labor and spend an indefinite amount of time toiling in a labor camp until the Chinese government deems them “fit” for reintroduction to society. The news was published on a Chinese micro blog and the following article details responses from human rights attorneys around China.
09/06/2012 China (China Aid Association)- A case in Inner Mongolia of seven Christians being criminally detained on cult-related charges that was publicized on the Internet by well-known Christian rights defense lawyer Zhang Kai has generated a wide social media response.
Zhang posted this on his microblog on Aug. 31: “[Authorities in] Ulanhot, Inner Mongolia criminally detained seven Christians for the crime of ‘using a cult to undermine implementation of the law.’ Among those detained are several medical school students who went to the countryside to popularize medical knowledge among herdsmen and preach the gospel. This afternoon, two Christian lawyers went and asked to meet with them, but were barred. Quite a few Christian lawyers are prepared to go and offer legal assistance. More lawyers are welcome to join their defense.”

Attorney Yang Xingquan, “I’ll be in Russia on business for a week. Please don’t stop forwarding this micro-blogging message. Hope it will be forwarded 10,000 times! Hope they when I return to China, they will have been set free. If their arrest was authorized by the procuratorate, I would offer them my legal services pro bono. Brothers and sisters, please continuee to fervently pray for them!”
A self-reliant cat, “I know a person who works at a re-education-through-labor camp. He said it has many Christians who are being re-educated through labor. (It’s not clear to me how one differentiates this religious group [from others]; in any case, it is one that believes in the cross.) One of them was a relatively well-known missionary who tried to evangelize him. He beat the missionary so bad that he was not able to utter a word. There is a small, old church in a certain village in the area of my hometown, which is a county-level city. A few days every year, this church holds activities and all the government agencies send people to spy on it. This government is afraid of God and is afraid of real spirits.” (Sept 1, 12:04)
Zhang Kai also posted, “Almost 10 attorneys in China are monitoring this case and have expressed willingness to go there and defend them. Someone said, ‘The detained Christians might be sent to re-education through labor. We will closely watch this case. If they are indeed sentenced to re-education-through-labor, we will help them file for an administrative review and file a lawsuit according to the law.”
Finally, brother Zhang Kai made a profound analysis and summary of the “phenomenon of Ulanhot missionary case,” saying, “The Ulanhot missionary case has had a great impact on China, and the people watching it are not just those in the legal and religious fields. Even those even in the entertainment industry are starting to talk about it. Americans believe that freedom of religion is the first and foremost freedom and that it concerns the happiness of each of us. The day we realize that religion is more important than life is the day that China is ushered into a new age.”
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