Chinese Jailed Elderly House Church Activist Near Death, Family Says

Monday, August 20, 2007

By BosNewsLife News Center

BEIJING, CHINA (BosNewsLife) -- An elderly jailed house church activist remained in "life danger" Saturday, August 18, as her health rapidly deteriorates because of abuses in prison, her family said.

Shuang Shuying, 77, who was in February sentenced to two years imprisonment by a Beijing court on what rights watchers described as "trumped up" charges related to her Christian activities, was apparently found in "serious condition" by family members who visiting her.

"Her hands were trembling and she looked very pale. She used to weigh 55 kilograms (121 pounds), Now she weighs only about 40 kilogram (88 pounds)," said her daughter-in-law, Wei Jumei, in a letter distributed by the US-based Christian rights group China Aid Association (CAA).

"The jeers and verbal abuses she gets from fellow inmates and the police's terror and psychological pressure have made the old lady all the more miserable," Wei added. Chinese officials could not immediately be reached for comments on the allegations. The government has in the past denied human rights abuses.


Chinese Christians say policemen have told her son, Pastor Hua Huiqi that she is held as a "hostage" to pressure him to end his fight for religious rights of China's rapidly expanding 'house churches', named this way as they are organized in homes of believers.

Pastor Hua, who is also an internationally known human rights activist, was released July 25 after serving 6 months in jail for "disturbing social order."

In her letter Wei said she was concerned about the apparent tactic as "Shuang has serious diabetes, high blood pressure, cataracts and neuralgia in peripheral nerves."


She urged the international Christian community to pray for her mother-in-law and appealed to the Chinese government to release Shuang. Wei also asked Christians "to pray for the Chinese police and government as well as the detained prisoners," according to the letter released by CAA, which has close contacts with house churches.

CAA President Bob Fu said the latest developments underscore that the "international community" should "protest the injustice done to this ill, elderly Christian lady by writing letters and making phone calls to the Chinese authorities.

"It definitely represents a new low on the so-called rule of law in China especially in the host city of 2008 Summer Olympics," Fu added. (With reporting from China).

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