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China Aid, Christian Solidarity Worldwide welcome Urgent Question in House of Commons

Friday, October 23, 2015

China Aid President Bob Fu (left) with
Speaker of the House 
of Commons Jon
(Photo: China Aid)
China Aid
By Brynne Lawrence

(London— Oct. 23, 2015) China Aid President Bob Fu and Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas join in welcoming Urgent Question to the Government in the House Commons.

Please see the CSW release below to read more about the “Urgent Question to the Government in the House of Commons,” which details human rights and religious freedom violations in China, including the persecution of Christians in China’s coastal Zhejiang. It also mentions several prominent imprisoned activists, including former China 18 member Gao Zhisheng, current member Liu Xiaobo, pastor Huang Yizi, and human rights lawyer Zhang Kai. In the CSW release Fu states that, “It is time to take action to address these urgent concerns.”

In reflecting on the week of advocacy events in London during the visit of President Xi, Fu said, “I am extremely grateful for CSW’s partnership. I believe our joint efforts have brought greater awareness on the need to address religious freedom and human rights abuses in China.”

For Immediate Release

22 October 2015

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) welcomes today’s Urgent Question to the Government in the House of Commons concerning human rights in China, tabled by Fiona Bruce MP, Chair of the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission.

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs was asked “‘if he will make a statement on human rights in China, following reports that human rights lawyer Zhang Kai imminently faces a severe prison sentence or the death penalty, for defending civil liberties.”

Lawyer Zhang Kai was taken away by police on 25 August in Wenzhou and has been accused of “gathering and disturbing social order, crime of stealing, spying, buying, and illegally providing state secrets and intelligence to entities outside of China.”

Zhang Kai defended Pastor Huang Yizi, who served a one year sentence after protesting the removal of crosses and demolition of churches in Zhejiang Province. Zhang also helped form a lawyers group to protect church crosses and offered advice to numerous churches facing the removal of their cross. He has not been granted access to legal representation. His imprisonment at an “undisclosed location” suggests that he will be held at an extra-legal facility, or “black jail”, where there is an increased risk of ill-treatment and torture.

Members of Parliament questioned the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on the human rights situation in China and raised specific cases of Chinese citizens who have had their rights infringed. Those named include Christian human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, who was tortured in prison; Bishop Shi, who was imprisoned for 14 years and was reported to have died earlier this year at an undisclosed location; Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong; artist and political activist Ai Weiwei and Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo, who remains under house arrest. Also mentioned was the case of Lawyer Wang Yu, whose arrest and detention in an unknown location sparked protests from fellow rights lawyers which are believed to have led to mass arrests and detentions of rights lawyers on an unprecedented scale since July 2015.

Violations of freedom of religion or belief for Buddhists in Tibet, Muslims in Xinjiang Province and Christians in Zhejiang Province were also highlighted. China Aid President Bob Fu also welcomed the Urgent Question and said “it’s time to take action to address this urgent concern”.

CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said, “We warmly welcome Fiona Bruce MP’s initiative in tabling this Urgent Question and securing this important debate, which has highlighted the situation of human rights in China and the plight of Chinese citizens who have had their rights infringed, often for standing up for those of their fellow citizens. We urge the Prime Minister to extend the UK’s support to Chinese citizens working to uphold rule of law in their country, and to raise these issues with President Xi during his visit, affirming that human rights and trade are not mutually exclusive.”

For further information or to arrange interviews please contact Kiri Kankhwende, Press Officer at Christian Solidarity Worldwide on +44 (0)20 8329 0045 / +44 (0) 78 2332 9663, email or visit

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) is a Christian organisation working for religious freedom through advocacy and human rights, in the pursuit of justice.


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

"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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