Follow-up report: CCP apprehend members of Jehovah's Witnesses in large-scale arrest



Monday, December 20, 2021

Korla City, Xinjiang Province
(Photo: Flickr)




(Korla City, Xinjiang Province—December 20, 2021) The Chinese regime suppresses the religious group Jehovah’s Witnesses and views them as a “cult.” In September and October of 2018, the judiciary in Xinjiang Province arrested 18 members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. They were collectively arrested on suspicion of “organizing and using cult organizations to obstruct the enforcement of laws.”

 

In 2019, the People’s Procuratorate of Korla City, Xinjiang charged 18 Jehovah’s Witnesses as a cult organization. The indictment letter stated that starting from 2009, the five generations of “elders” of the “Jehovah’s Witnesses” such as Liu Weiguo, Jiang Xijun, and Li Yifang violated the Administrative Measures for Religious Groups by establishing a congregation in Korla, by converting 63 people, and by misusing the name of Christianity. Their indictment also claimed that the apotheosis of “Jehovah” spread superstition and heresy, instigated believers not to join the CCP or the Chinese Communist Youth League, not to perform military service, not to raise the national flag, not to salute the national flag, not to sing the national anthem, not to participate in elections; they colluded with foreigners, used regular gatherings to control the thoughts of the believers, took the opportunity to collect money, affected the customary religious beliefs of the masses, seriously disrupted social order, and undermined the implementation of the law.

 

The indictment letter stated that husband and wife Liu Weiguo and Zhang Min were baptized in Beijing and officially became Jehovah’s Witnesses. Liu was ordained as an assistant servant of the Chongqing Jehovah’s Witnesses and later ordained as an elder of the Chongqing congregation. In 2008, Liu arrived in Yili, Xinjiang, and served as the elder of the Yili congregation. From July 2011 to July 2013, Liu served as the elder of the Korla congregation, and Zhang Min served as the special pioneer. They brought in 7 students, including Song Qinghong and Xu Yanli, and organized more than 100 “illegal” gatherings at the rented family housing facility of Bazhou Hospital. In February 2012, the Korla religious and ethnic minority affairs bureau issued them a warning and shut it down; this prompted Liu and Zhang to change their meeting location. The indictment letter continued by stating that husband and wife, Liu and Zhang, led Huang Lili, Xu Yanli, and other believers to Hong Kong to participate in a regional conference organized by Hong Kong’s Jehovah’s Witnesses branch. In 2018, in the custody of the Korla City Detention Center, Liu and Zhang refused to sing the Red National Anthem on the grounds of their faith.

 

The allegations in the indictment letter can be found per the teachings of the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious organization. However, the Jehovah’s Witnesses do not hold legal status in China. The “politically neutral” stand of this group’s believers, their refusal to sing the national anthem or join the CCP’s political organizations are all considered threats to the regime.

 

The criminal law of a civilized country should punish people’s actions against society, not people’s thoughts or beliefs, even if these thoughts or beliefs are considered wrong and absurd in the eyes of the regime or some people. The unique doctrine of the Jehovah’s Witnesses is accepted in democratic countries as a part of religious freedom. The vast majority of democratic countries do not define a “cult” in terms of religious organizations and groups or individual doctrines or practices. However, in China, the regime often lists religious groups that refuse to register with the government as “cults” and strike them as targets.

 

According to the indictment letter, the accused believers of Jehovah’s Witnesses joined in their times of study abroad in Japan and Korea then came back to China to serve. The 18 believers’ “political neutrality,” “private gathering” modus operandi to avoid the regime’s arrest, and their foreign ties were all viewed as threats to the political stability of the Chinese regime. They were officially arrested in suspicions of “organizing and using cult organizations to obstruct the enforcement of laws.”

 

Chen Jiangang, a Chinese human rights lawyer in the U.S., criticized the Xinjiang regime for using this law to persecute religious groups. “The CCP uses this law to prosecute Falun Gong, Christians, and Buddhists in China. According to my experience, we will not lose in court if we are talking reason and law, but the case will never win,” he stated:

 

“In which country’s law stipulates this group as a cult? How did they (the defendants) disrupt the implementation of the law? Is it their liberty to study and withdraw from the group? Do these people have the power to disrupt the implementation of the law? Does Chinese law define this group as a cult? Do these groups have relevant laws and regulations?

 

 

Personal information of the 18 “Jehovah's Witnesses” in the above-mentioned case

 

Liu Weiguo, his alias: Liu Yuqian, Male, DOB: July 25, 1972, domicile: Beijing. The Korla City Public Security Bureau criminally detained him on October 5, 2018, on suspicion of organizing and using cult organizations to obstruct the enforcement of laws.” He was officially arrested on November 10, 2018, after the approval of Korla City People’s court; Korla City Public Security Bureau conducted the arrest on the same day.

 

Lin Zaiwu, his aliases: Lin Dahai and Lin Zhong, Male, DOB: August 24, 1982, domicile: Fuqing, Fujian province. His charge was “organizing and using cult organizations to obstruct the enforcement of laws.” Lin was detained on October 10, 2018, and his arrest was approved on November 10, 2018.

 

Li Yifang, his alias: Li Zhi, Male, DOB: November 21, 1970, domicile: Beijing; Korla City People’s court-approved his arrest on the charge of organizing and using cult organizations to obstruct the enforcement of laws” on November 10, 2018; the Korla City Public Security Bureau arrested him on November 12, 2018.

 

Lin Hao, his alias: Qu Zheng, Male, DOB: 06/24/1979, was born in Wendeng City, Shandong province, physical address: Xinxiang City, Henan province. The Korla City Public Security Bureau criminally detained him on October 16, 2018. The Korla City People’s court-approved his arrest on November 10, 2018.

 

Jiang Xijun, his alias: Jiang Yan, Male, DOB: 10/01/1979, domicile: Yantai, Shandong province. The court approved his arrest on November 10, 2018, and he was arrested on March 7, 2019.

 

Gao Xinlian, her alias: Zhao Ping, Female, DOB: 02/01/1969, Korla City, Xinjiang. The Korla City Public Security Bureau criminally detained her on September 23, 2018. The Korla City People’s court-approved her arrest on October 26, 2018.

 

Wang Xiaoqing, his alias: Wulanbate, Male, DOB: 12/30/1961, domicile: Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. The Korla City Public Security Bureau criminally detained him on October 8, 2018, the court approved his arrest on November 11.

 

Yu Bingru, formally Yu Xinxue, Male, DOB: 02/17/1966, Bachelor degree, Legal representative of Xinjiang Baide Education Consulting LTD, Born in Shihezi, Xinjiang. He was criminally detained on September 22, 2018; the court approved his arrest on October 26 of the same year, and he was arrested the next day.

 

 

Zhang Min, her alias: Zhang Xiaohe, Female, DOB: 11/06/1972, Bachelor’s degree, domicile: Beijing. He was criminally detained on October 5, 2018; the court approved his arrest on November 10 of the same year, and he was arrested the next day.

 

 

Jiang Jinling, her alias: Li Ling, Female, DOB: 04/04/1974, domicile: Beijing. She was criminally detained on November 10, 2018, and arrested on November 12, 2018.

 

Chen Meiling, her alias: Lin Chen, Female, DOB: 01/19/1986, Ethnicity: Manchu, Nurse, Associate Degree, domicile: Weihai, Shandong province, physical address: Xinxiang, Henan province. She was criminally detained on October 16, 2018, her arrest was approved on November 10, 2018, and she was arrested on November 12, the same year.

 

 

Fan Tao, Male, DOB: 09/20/1986, born in Aral, Xinjiang, Associate Degree, an employee of Beijing Jindu Law Firm. He was criminally detained on September 24, 2018, and his arrest was approved on October 26 of the same year; his arrest was carried out the next day.

 

 

Wei Pengfei, her alias: Mixue, Female, DOB: 08/15/1982, domicile: Korla City, Xinjiang, physical address: Korla City, Xinjiang. She was criminally detained on September 20, 2018, and her arrest was approved on October 26 of the same year; her arrest was carried out the next day.

 

 

Huang Lili, her alias: Tang Xiao, Female, DOB: 11/26/1992, domicile: Korla City, Xinjiang. She was criminally detained on September 20, 2018, and she was arrested on October 26 of the same year; her arrest was carried out the next day.

 

 

Ma Xiaojun, her alias: Ma Xue, Female, DOB: 09/30/1978, domicile: Nanyang, Henan province; physical address: Korla City, Xinjiang. She was criminally detained on September 20, 2018, and she was arrested on October 26 of the same year; her arrest was carried out the next day.

 

Yang Hua, female, DOB: 03/11/1990, physical address: Korla City, Xinjiang. The time of arrest is the same as above.

 

 

 Shi Xianhe, Male, DOB: 07/13/1994, domicile: Heshuo County, Xinjiang, physical address: Korla City, Xinjiang. He was criminally detained on September 22, 2018, and his arrest was approved on October 26 of the same year; his arrest was carried out the next day.

 

 

Xu Yanli, Female, DOB: 08/19/1972, associate degree, domicile: Korla City, Xinjiang, the vice-principal of Golden Sun Kindergarten located at the development district in Korla City. She was criminally detained on September 23, 2018, and arrested on October 26, the same year.

 

 

~ Gao Zhensai, Special Correspondent of ChinaAid 



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