Beijing Christian bookstore owner Shi Weihan's condition deteriorating in prison

Friday, August 1, 2008

By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

BEIJING, CHINA (ANS) -- Beijing bookstore owner and House Church leader Mr. Shi Weihan, has been suffering a deterioration in health since his imprisonment four months ago.

China Aid Association (CAA) says that poor prison conditions and refusal of diabetes medication have contributed to Shi’s lack of health. Shi has lost more than 10 kg in body weight amidst the constant physical and psychological torture employed by prison officials.

CAA says that recently Shi was coerced to sign and recognize a confession convicting him of “engaging in the printing and distribution of a large number of illegal publications.”

The charges stem from Shi’s printing of Bibles and Christian literature which were sold at his Beijing Christian bookstore, but were deemed “illegal” by Beijing authorities because the books were not printed by the Three-Self Patriotic Movement Church.

Pastor Bob Fu, president of China Aid, strongly condemned the Public Security Bureau of Beijing, citing the hypocrisy and contradictory nature of the Chinese Government’s pledge of religious freedom amidst the upcoming Olympic Games. He called on the international media to continue paying close attention to this incident, and provide support and help to Mr. Shi Weihan’s family in this time of need.

Fu said "(China as) The host of the Olympic Games, which signify honor and freedom amongst world citizens, has continued to mock the World community by pledging to uphold religious freedom while simultaneously persecuting its own citizens for their personal beliefs."

To voice your concern over this matter contact:

Municipal Government Departments
Information Office
Bldg 10, Fahuananli, Chongwen

Legislative Office
2 Zhengyi Lu, Dongcheng District
Tel: 01186-6512-2146

China’s Anti-Corruption hotline -- reporting of corrupt Government officials (within China) – 12388

China Aid Association, Inc.
Tel: (267) -205-5210
Fax: (432)-686-8355
Websites: ;