Chinese House Church Leaders to Testify at UN

For the second time in the history of the United Nations, Chinese House Church leaders will testify at a parallel meeting in the UN headquarter in Geneva about religious repression, torture, sexual abuse and arbitrary detention in China, reported an advocacy group for persecuted Christians in China.

The 61st annual meeting of the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, sponsored by the UN recognized NGO A Woman’s Voice International, will be held on Mar. 30.

"The condition of religious persecution in China overall has steadily deteriorated - particularly since the year 2002," said Rev. Bob Fu, president of China Aid Association, which reported of Wednesday’s meeting in Geneva. "Within the first 9 months of 2004 we recorded over 400 arrests of house church pastors. Within the month of September alone, thirteen pastors were formally sent to re-education through labor camps in Henan Province."

According to the CAA, an electro-shock baton, often used for torture, will be demonstrated for the first time during Wednesday’s meeting. The CAA received the torture tool recently with the help of a "conscientious police officer." According to its specifications, the baton can administer 80 KV to 500 KV of electricity and can cause heart damage and burn flesh.

During the meeting, a video interview with family members of Jian Zongxiu, who was arrested on June 18, 2004 and beaten to death during her interrogation, will also be aired. The video footage also contains photos of bruises on the legs and neck of Jiang's body following her death.

Stuart Windsor, National Director of UK-based Christian Solidarity Worldwide, has also spoken of the Chinese government's clear violations of international law by making numerous arbitrary detentions/arrests of underground Catholic and Protestant believers. Pointing to conclusions of the UN findings regarding the arbitrary detention of a Chinese church historian Zhang Yinan, Windsor urged the Chinese government to release all the arbitrarily arrested and abide by its international obligations.

The CAA reports that Wednesday’s meeting will be chaired by Lord Chan of Oxton, Member of the British Parliament, House of Lords, Chairman of the Chinese in Britain National Forum and Chairman of the Chinese Overseas Christian Mission.