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Attorney’s memoir on 2012 church persecution case in Hotan, Xinjiang

Thursday, August 23, 2012

China Aid Association
(Hotan, Xinjiang – August 23, 2012) On March 4, 2012, Zhong Shuguang (an ethnic Han residing in Hotan Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region), conducted a weekly Sunday worship service at his home according to Christian tradition (there are no church building and any church form in Hotan).  At about 10:50 a.m., police officers from Xiaoerbage Township Police Station of Hotan Municipality, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region entered the residence of Zhong Shuguang and ordered him to stop the gathering.  They examined the Bible and hymnals used in the gathering.  Finally, they seized notebook computers, projectors and other items.  Meanwhile, they demanded the believers in the gathering provide their personal information to them.  Those who did not provide their ID information were not allowed to go home.  At noon, Zhong Shuguang was taken to the police station for interrogation and was released later same day.

On March 9, 2012, Xiaoerbage Township Police Station of Hotan Municipality, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region returned the seized items.  However, on the grounds that he had held  an illegal gathering, they imposed an administrative penalty of 15-days detention upon Zhong Shuguang.

On March 30, 2012, Zhong Shuguang submitted his application for administrative reconsideration to Hotan Municipal Public Security Bureau, demanding that they repeal the decision of administrative penalty made against him on March 9, 2012 and that they confirm the law enforcement officers violated the law when they forced the believers to divulge their ID information, prohibited the believers from gathering at Zhong Shuguang’s home, and failed to show a summons when they summoned Zhong Shuguang.

On May 9, 2012, Hotan Regional Public Security Bureau made a decision statement on the administrative reconsideration.  On the grounds that Hotan Municipal Public Security Bureau made an error on the applicable law and that its procedure was illegal, it repealed the decision on the administrative penalty made against Zhong Shuguang by Hotan Municipal Public Security Bureau on March 9, 2012.  It also demanded that Hotan Municipal Public Security Bureau make a concrete administrative act within 60 days.

On June 4, 2012, on the grounds that “Christian believers were illegally engaged in Christian activities in the name of a social organization,” Hotan Municipal Public Security Bureau again made a decision of penalty placing Zhong Shuguang under a 15-day administrative detention.  In the meantime, it reported in writing to Hotan Municipal Committee for Ethnic and Religious Affairs, it prohibited the use of his home for activities, and handled the case in accordance with regulations on religious affairs.  Later, Hotan Municipal Public Security Bureau ripped document of the decision statement on the administrative penalty. 

Again on July 2, it delivered to Zhong Shuguang another decision statement on administrative penalty and it decided to place Zhong Shuguang under 15-day administrative detention and confiscate his notebook computer and projector on the grounds that “Christians were engaged in Christian activities in the name of a social organization.”

On July 19, 2012, Zhong Shuguang again submitted his application for an administrative reconsideration to Hotan Regional Public Security Bureau, requesting that the decision on administrative penalty made again by Hotan Municipal Public Security Bureau be repealed.

However, when there was still no response to the second application for an administrative reconsideration, Hotan Municipal Public Security Bureau made a decision once again on the ground that Zhong Shuguang conducted a traditional Christian Sunday worship service on July 22 and illegally engaged in Christian activities in the name of a social organization.  The decision of the penalty places Zhong Shuguang under a 15-day administrative detention and fines him 1,000 yuan.  They also confiscated books, removable hard disks, cell phones and other items from Zhong Shuguang’s home.  In the meantime, they also issued a decision of a 10-day detention and a fine of 500 yuan upon Tai Runlian who attended the gathering at the residence of Zhong Shuguang.

On August 3, 2012, Hotan Municipal Committee for Ethnic and Religious Affairs delivered to Tai Runlian the notification of administrative penalty.  On the grounds that Tai Runlian attended the illegal religious activities in the home of Zhong Shuguang on July 22, which violated Article 12 of Chapter 3 of the Regulations on Religious Affairs, it ordered Tai Runlian to immediately stop participating in illegal religious activities pursuant to Article 43, Chapter 6 of the Regulations on Religious Affairs.

On August 16, 2012, Zhong Shuguang submitted his defense statement to Hotan Municipal Committee for Ethnic and Religious Affairs.

Given the above, from March to August of 2012, Hotan Municipal Public Security Bureau delivered four decision statements on administrative penalty to Zhong Shuguang concerning the traditional Christian Sunday worship gathering conducted in his home, and it delivered one decision notification on administrative penalty to Tai Runlian.  Hotan Municipal Committee on Ethnic and Religious Affairs also delivered a notification of administrative penalty to Tai Runlian for the same reason. 

Click to see the scanned copies of the related documents.
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"Bob Fu has dedicated his life to bringing freedom of religion to the Chinese people. His story is a testimony to the power of faith and an inspiration to people struggling to break free from oppression."
—Mrs. Laura Bush

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