Week 6: Police Detain 20 Shouwang Church Members, Put 100 Under House ArrestSunday, May 15, 2011
China Aid Association
(Beijing – May 15, 2011) In the sixth week of Shouwang Church’s attempt to hold outdoor Sunday worship services, Beijing police rounded up about 20 church members and kept approximately 100 under informal house arrest, according to ChinaAid sources and an online report.
Boxun, the overseas Chinese community journalism website, reported that plainclothes police were out in force around the plaza in the Zhongguancun area of northwest Beijing that Shouwang had selected for its outdoor worship site beginning on April 10 after being evicted from its leased indoor worship space.
The Boxun report at http://boxun.com/news/gb/china/2011/05/201105151319.shtml showed photos of police vehicles parked at various locations near the plaza. They included two public buses ready for police to use to transport members to local police stations, as has been the practice in past weeks, as well eight marked police cars and jeeps and at least one unmarked official car with placard on the dashboard indicating it belonged to the Public Security Ministry’s Domestic Security Department, which is responsible for dealing with political dissidents, human rights activists, government petitioners, and religious groups as well as “subversive” activities in the areas of culture, education and the economy.
Boxun reported seeing 20 Shouwang Church members being taken away in a bus at about 9 a.m.
ChinaAid sources reported that roughly 100 church members were confined to their homes to prevent their going to the outdoor worship site. Some of the church’s leaders, including its pastors and elders, have been under extra-judicial house arrest since April 9, the day before the first outdoor worship attempt.
Sources said that by noon on Sunday, a few of those taken into police custody had already been released. In past weeks, most were held for about 24 hours, with others kept in police detention for 48 hours.
Boxun reported that by 10:30 a.m., even though there were no Shouwang Church members around, the police still had not disbanded.
China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
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