China Security Forces Monitor Freed Christian Rights Activist

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

By BosNewsLife News Center

BEIJING, CHINA (BosNewsLife)-- A prominent Christian rights activist who was recently released last month after spending two years in jail, was under strict secret service surveillance Tuesday, February 14, as part of efforts by the authorities to monitor his activities, a watchdog said.

China Aid Association (CAA), a well informed US based religious rights group investigating alleged persecution of Chinese Christians, said it learned that Dr. Xu Yonghai, a former psychiatric doctor at Beijing Pingan Hospital has been "closely" monitored since his release from Hangzhou Prison in Zhejiang Province on January 29, 2006.

"Before his release the Chinese security agents installed three video cameras in front of his apartment in order to monitor his activities and his identification cards were not returned to him," CAA quoted an unidentified source as saying.

In a statement to BosNewsLife, CAA explained that "Xu's wife, Li Shanna, refused to sign a form demanding she report her husband's activities to the Chinese authorities." In addition, Dr. Xu and his wife both lost their jobs at the hospital after Xu's arrest, human rights watchers say.


There was no immediate comment from Chinese officials. China's government has however denied allegations of human rights abuses against believers, saying Christians are to practice their faith, but only in the in the state approved churches.

Dr. Xu Yonghai was arrested in Beijing on November 9, 2003 because of his active role in defending religious freedom "for persecuted Christian believers" in China, CAA said. "As a result, Xu along with two other individuals, Mr. Liu Fenggang, 48, and Zhang Shengqi, 30, were charged under Article 111 of the Criminal Law with providing "state secrets to foreign organizations."

They were reportedly tried in secret on March 16, 2004 by Hangzhou Intermediate People's Court in Zhejiang Province. On August 6, 2004, the court sentenced Liu Fenggang to three years, Xu Yonghai to two years, and Zhang Shengqi to one year imprisonment, CAA recalled. Zhang Shengqi was released on February 7, 2005.


The three were charged in connection with Liu Fenggang's decision to write, disseminate, and publicize several reports written over a two-year period, documenting what they described as "the destruction of churches and the harsh treatment suffered by members of underground congregations."

Xu told CAA that Mr. Liu Fenggang's health "is deteriorating because of his heart condition," the group added. "CAA condemns the Chinese Security restrictions on Dr. Xu's freedom. CAA President Bob Fu, who fled China after apparently being persecuted for, his Christian faith, said he has urged international Christian communities and the Chinese House churches to fast and pray so that "God may soften the hearts of the Chinese leaders and grant justice and mercy to these brave rights defenders."

He claimed Chinese human rights activists are facing a "worsening situation" in the Communist nation. (With reports from China and BosNewsLife Research)

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