China Aid June 2012 Newsletter

Monday, June 18, 2012

Tearful Planting Leads to Joyful Harvests in Chen Guangcheng, Tibet Cases

Chris Smith (center) and Bob Fu (right)
visit Chen Guangcheng and
wife Yuan Weijing
in New York City on May 26.
This spring was a roller coaster for me and the staff of ChinaAid. The saga around the blind self-taught lawyer Chen Guangcheng's daring escape, unnerving rescue and sudden flight to the United States literally rocked our office. In one day alone we received probably several thousand phone calls from around the globe. As a result of calls I made to Chen, in a period of just two weeks, he was able to testify twice by phone at two congressional hearings chaired by Congressman Chris Smith.

In this unprecedented way, Chen was able to tell his story directly to the whole world from Beijing Chaoyang Hospital where he and his family were confined by Chinese security forces. Thankfully as part of an answer to your prayers, Chen, his wife and two children were finally allowed to come to the United States for a time of study and rest. I told them that we are ready to help their family in whatever way they need.

Human rights lawyer Zhang Kai
handled the Tibet case,
which was settled in the
plaintiff’s favor on April 7.
Even before the Chen case, we had already experienced a victory that made me want to jump and shout for joy. On the morning of April 7, I heard these words from one of our Christian lawyers: “We have won a big victory in the Tibet case.” This was one day before a court was supposed to hear the administrative lawsuit brought by a house church leader against Lhasa police, which had launched an unprecedented major crackdown against house churches in Tibet in October 2011. It was a surprising outcome because political and religious suppression in Tibet has been at an all-time high. But for the first time in Tibet, the repressed won a victory.

As the Scripture tells us: Those who plant in tears in the night will harvest with shouts of joy in the morning (Psalm 30:5). Therefore: Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up (Galatians 6:9).

Prominent Human Rights Lawyer Gao Zhisheng Confirmed Alive! 

On March 24, the brother and father-in-law of prominent human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng were finally allowed to visit him in prison, putting to rest fears that the pioneer in the growing Christian legal defense movement in China had died during the two-plus years of his forced disappearance into police custody.

Gao’s older brother, Gao Zhiyi, and his father-in-law were permitted a half-hour meeting with Gao at Shaya prison, in a remote part of Xinjiang in far western China. It was the first time his family had seen Gao since he disappeared back into police custody in April 2010 after briefly resurfacing from a previous long period of “forced disappearance,” one of several since 2006 when he was convicted of subversion for his rights defense work. Gao broke into tears when his father-in-law told him, “My health is greatly improved now that I have seen you.”

ChinaAid has been campaigning worldwide for Gao’s freedom since 2007. Go to to sign the Free Gao petition, which already has 151,510 signatures from around the world.

Escape of Blind Legal Activist Chen Guangcheng Stuns World, Rocks Sino-US Relations 

At a May 3 congressional hearing, Chen Guangcheng speaks through Bob Fu’s cell phone
to tell the world that he and his family hope to go to the United States.

Dream comes true:
Chen Guangcheng and his family’s
May 18 arrival in New York,
where he is now a visiting scholar.
From the end of April through most of May, the world was captivated by the saga of blind legal activist Chen Guangcheng, who miraculously escaped captors who had been holding him under cruel extra-legal house arrest conditions in his home village in Shandong province. With the help of brave supporters, Chen made his way to Beijing where he took refuge in the U.S. Embassy before he was handed over by U.S. officials to Chinese authorities at a Beijing hospital. ChinaAid has been one of Chen’s greatest champions, and we were one of the first groups to notify the international media of Chen’s escape. When Chen’s case threatened to turn into a diplomatic quagmire, Rev. Bob Fu enabled Chen to speak directly to U.S. lawmakers about his wishes by calling Chen’s cell phone and then putting him on speakerphone at two specially convened congressional hearings.

Victory in Tibet: Pastor Wins Suit Against Police
Human rights lawyer Zhang Kai
visits Tibetan children
adopted by Christians
during his work for
the Tibetan house church.
In the Tibetan capital of Lhasa, Pastor Song Kuanxin won an out-of-court settlement after suing the Lhasa police for its illegal law enforcement actions. The settlement was reached the day before a scheduled hearing in the suit brought by Song, a missionary to Lhasa from Henan province. Song was represented by prominent Christian lawyer Zhang Kai. Lhasa police had criminally detained Song for a month, during which he was abused and tortured. Police also confiscated church and personal items.

Song was one of 11 Christians in Lhasa detained around the Oct. 1 National Day holiday—believed to be the first time Christians in Tibet had been arrested. In the settlement, which the police initiated, all the items confiscated from all the house church leaders were returned, including Bibles and other "illegal" Christian literature.

In addition to international advocacy, ChinaAid immediately provided $5000 to cover the cost of launching a legal defense and also allocated prisoners’ families support funds to Pastor Song, who was the only one of the detained house church leaders willing be named as a plaintiff in the lawsuit against the Lhasa police.

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China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985