More than a dozen Hunan believers criminally detained in early August released on bail
On August 7th, 12 Christians were criminally detained in Hunan Province, China, and the criminal detention notice said “they had organized cults and sects and used superstition to undermine law enforcement.” 20 human rights lawyers arrived in Hunan to negotiate with government officials, accusing “local police of abusing their power and perpetuating religious persecution through groundless charges.” Under pressure from the local community and lawyers, the government finally released the 12 Christians on bail.
09/04/2014 China (ChinaAid)– Authorities last week in China’s central Hunan folded under pressure from the local community and lawyers and released 12 Christians, who were criminally detained on Aug. 7, on bail pending trial.
After the Aug. 7 detention of a dozen Christians from four different counties in Shaoyang, close to 20 human rights lawyers, many of whom are Christians, arrived in Shaoyang to provide legal services. The lawyers went with the detainees’ family members to the respective public security bureaus to negotiate with officials, accusing local police of abusing their power and perpetuating religious persecution through groundless charges, family members told China Aid.
The lawyers also told police that if they continue to willfully arrest Christians who participate in normal religious activities and have a normal faith, the police and prosecutor will be the jokes of the court systems, and they could face criminal lawsuits brought by victims and their families.
It was after these negotiations that authorities released Luo Chungui and Ouyang Xinxiong on Aug. 22 after they served a 15-day administrative detention sentence. Another unnamed Christian was released on Aug. 22 after serving an administrative detention sentence, bringing the total number of detained believers to 15.
Also released on Aug. 22 were two Christians who had been criminally detained: Fan Tianying and Li Fenge from the Dongkou Public Security Bureau. Both of the latter two were released on bail pending trial; Fan’s bail was 8,000 yuan (US $1,300) and Li’s bail was 10,000 yuan (US $1,630). On Aug. 23, the Longhui County Public Security Bureau released Hu Tousheng after a 10,000-yuan bail was paid.
Later, on Aug. 27, the Longhui County Public Security Bureau released Sun Jue, Hu Qingxi and Luo Longyu on bails ranging from 8,000-10,000 yuan. The Dongkou County Public Security Bureau released Liu Manxiu, Deng Xuexiang, Long Shijiang, Zeng Weiqing, Zeng Weigang and Yin Shiting. All bails for the detainees in Dongkou County were set at 10,000 yuan.
The Christians detained in Longhui County were charged with “suspicion of utilizing a cult organization to undermine the implementation of the law and suspicion of fraud,” according to the decision statements regarding the prisoners’ bail. Similarly, those detained in Dongkou County were charged with “suspicion of organizing and utilizing secret societies, cult organizations and superstition to undermine the implementation of the law,” according to their decision statements.