By BosNewsLife News Center
BEIJING, CHINA (BosNewsLife) -- Chinese Christians remained concerned Thursday, October 25, about the health situation of a prominent Beijing pastor amid reports he was beaten again by security forces after being discharged from Tiantan Hospital.
China Aid Association, a major religious rights watchdog, said the incident happened after police transferred Pastor Hua Huiqi from the Beijing-based medical facility back to his rented house on October 16.
He had been treated in the Tiantan Hospital for injuries inflicted during a previous attack, on October 11, by officers of the Public Security Bureau (PSB), one of China's main law enforcement agencies, former house church leader Bob Fu told BosNewsLife.
Fu, who now leads CAA, said at the time that the pastor was "beaten until he was unconscious," and was rushed to hospital. Following his hospital discharge "he was beaten up again by 4 or 5 PSB officers" monitoring his home, "in the morning because he wanted to use the bathroom adjacent to his bedroom," CAA said in a statement.
PSB officers allegedly "refused his request, blocking any possibility of Huaâ€™s communication with journalists waiting outside his house, and ordered him to stay in his bedroom, forcing his wife, Wei Jumei, to clean up the inevitable results."
Chinese officials had no reaction to the latest claims. CAA has linked the apparent persecution to Hua's Christian activities.
It came as news emerged that one of China's most prominent Chinese rights defenders attorneys, Zhang Xingshui, has begun building a case to defend Zhou Heng, a Christian detained and allegedly beaten for receiving three tons of Bibles from South Korean churches.
Zhou, who is the manager of a registered Christian bookstore, the Yayi Christian Book Room, was detained August 3 in Urumqi, the capital of China's autonomous region of Xinjiang, said CAA.
His bookstore has reportedly been forced to close after his arrest by local authorities, although it had received permission to sell some Christianity related books published legally and officially inside China, BosNewsLife learned.
"Zhou suffered inhumane treatment as a detainee in custody. The officers hand-cuffed Zhou behind his back on the first day of his arrest," CAA said. "Zhou was forced to sleep on a concrete floor for the first month, and was only provided a bed after CAA reported about his arrest."
Zhou reportedly shared the cell with 14 other inmates, who were allegedly directed by prison officers "to beat him up as an attempt to make Zhou testify against himself, which Zhou refused," CAA added. "On August 31st, a charge was formally issued against Zhou, and he was transferred to Xishan Prison in Urumqi."
CAA said that Zhou Heng's coworker, Tan Wen, was released October 15 after international reports on his arrest. Tan Wen, a Christian who accompanied Zhou to pick up the Bible shipping, was arrested several days earlier on October 9.
Zhouâ€™s wife, Chen-Jihong, and another local lawyer have been trying to post bail "so Zhou can reunite" with his family, CAA said, adding that the request was rejected on October 16. Christian rights groups have said authorities have stepped up a crackdown on evangelical believers and house churches, ahead of the upcoming Olympic Games in Beijing, apparently amid fears within the Chinese Communist government that missionaries will use the event to spread Christianity.
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