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Trial for 4 individuals from Guangxi, Guangdong to start Dec. 23

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A family portrait shows Cheng Jie and Du Hongbo with their
two young sons.
 (Photo courtesy of Du Hongbo)
China Aid AssociationBy Rachel Ritchie
(Liuzhou, Guangxi—Dec. 9, 2014) The trial for four individuals detained in February and June and charged with “engaging in illegal business operations” is scheduled to begin on Dec. 23 in the Lunan District People’s Court of Liuzhou in China’s southern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

On Feb. 18, police took Cheng Jie, the director of Hualin Foreign Language Experimental Kindergarten of Liuzhou, which was founded by Liangren Church of Guangzhou, Guangdong, was taken into custody along with Mo Xiliu, a teacher who also did logistics, and police accused them of making a profit selling books of character improvement that the school had compiled. Mo has since been released on bail.

Facing trial along with Cheng are a Liangren Church missionary’s wife, Li Jiatao, who was in charge of Liangren Church’s finances, Huang Quirui, a church elder who police say was in charge of shipping the books when he simply helped wrap a package, and Fang Bin, a non-Christian who was contracted to print the books. The latter three, all of Guangzhou, were forcibly detained during the early hours of June 24 when police broke into their homes.

The indictment against the four states that they broke the law under the direction of Sun Haiping, the wife of former Liangren Church Pastor Wang Dao, who now resides in the United States. The indictment also claims that the textbooks were compiled without permission from state departments in charge of media and publication and that the books are being sold to kindergartens throughout China, which, because of the books were published without publishing numbers, is illegal.

Sun Haiping is said to have ordered Huang, Li and Fang to ship all the textbooks to Cheng in Liuzhou, where she would be in charge of their storage and sale. The indictment states that on Feb. 17, the day before their detention, Cheng ordered Mo to sell 830 textbooks to a kindergarten in Shandong.

The indictment failed to state the total number of textbooks allegedly sold or the profit made through those sales.

Cheng’s defense lawyer, Wen Yu, told China Aid that the actions of all four people did not constitute a crime. He said that the textbook was just a few pages in length and that the books were never available to the public for purchase.

“These books are for internal use only, but the procuratorate said that even though they are for internal use, some of the books were sold to other kindergartens,” Wen said. “[Hualin Kindergarten] only charged the cost [of the books when distributing them to other schools]. The procuratorate said they have made a profit… therefore, this is an illegal business operation. This claim is not tenable in law, but the procuratorate is trying to label this case that of illegal business operations.”

Wen said that the defendants have each hired, in total, seven lawyers to defend them.

“According to a person in the economic investigation branch, even if there is no evidence in this case, the case will proceed because that is the intention of the leaders,” Du Hongbo, Cheng’s husband, said. “We didn’t anticipate that this case would end up like this. We asked the person in charge of the economic investigation branch, and he said they’ll do whatever their leaders ask them to do.”

Du also told China Aid that since his wife’s arrest, their 3-year-old and 18-month-old sons have been staying with Cheng’s mother since Du can’t take care of them without help.

China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Contact
Tel: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
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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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