Prominent Beijing Rights Defense Christian Lawyer Li Heping Kidnapped and Tortured; Two Beijing Christian Activists Held Under House Arrest
Contact: Bob Fu, China Aid Association, Inc., 432-689-6985, 267-205-5210, info@ChinaAid.org; www.ChinaAid.org, www.monitorChina.org
MIDLAND, Texas, Oct. 3 /Christian Newswire/ -- China Aid Association learned the prominent Christian human rights lawyer in Beijing Mr. Li Heping was kidnapped and tortured for nearly six hours on September 29, 2007. Meanwhile, two Beijing Christian activists have been held under house arrest since Oct 1, 2007.
Photo: Mr. Li Heping's photo with Congressman Chris Smith on Oct. 12, 2005 during a visit to Capitol Hill
Mr. Li is a partner of Beijing Global Law Firm and also serves as an editorial board member of CAA's journal Chinese Law and Religion Monitor. In a statement to the international community entitled "May the Light of Rule of Law Shine on China --- Personal Statement from Attorney Li Heping on Being Beaten," attorney Li shared some details on how he was kidnapped and tortured.
Click here for the whole statement from Mr. Li: May the Light of Rule of Law Shine on China --- Personal Statement from Attorney Li Heping on Being Beaten, "Thank God for giving me an opportunity as an attorney to experience and witness personally the harshness of electric torture…"
CAA President Rev. Bob Fu, a friend of Li, talked with him over the phone on October 2, 2007. According to Mr. Li, a moderate and well respected criminal law and human rights defense lawyer, at 5:30 PM on September 29, 2007, after Li Heping got off work and came out of the office building, he saw two sedans without license plates in the parking lot. Then, a group of unidentified people covered his head with a cloth bag and forced him into one of the sedans. There were four people in the car and the two people in the back seat placed Attorney Li Heping in the middle. The car traveled for about an hour. Attorney Li felt that the car traveled on a section of highway and then went down a slope. After he got out of the car, he went down many steps. Li Heping guesses that this could be a basement. There were about ten people there, whom he had never met. They demanded that Attorney Li Heping undress completely, which he refused. Then they began to beat Attorney Li Heping brutally. After they hit him to the floor, they undressed Attorney Li by force down to his underwear. The head of this group was about 40 years of age and the others were in their 20s and 30s. They grabbed Li by the hair, kicked him, hit him with water bottles, and slapped him in the face. The most vicious form of torture was chasing and hitting him with electric batons. Asked about their identities by Li, one of the interrogators said they are members of Beijing State Security Bureau. They yelled to him with standard Beijing accent: "All your family should get the hell out of Beijing. Sell your house and car and get out of Beijing!"
On and off for six hours, Attorney Li Heping who was brutally beaten and insulted to the fullest degree. He endured the torture and never regarded the perpetrators with hatred. At last, these security agents gave Attorney Li Heping an ultimatum: "Let us give you another option since we know you don't want to get the hell out of Beijing. Then, just work as an attorney, but you must not mess up in some things." After that, they again put a black head-cover on Attorney Li and threw him into a wooded area in Xiaotangshan in Changping District of Beijing. Attorney Li had to walk for a long time to get to the highway where he got in a vehicle and went back to the city.
When he checked his belongings he was carrying with him, he found his attorney certificate, portable hard disk, access card to his law office, SIM card of his mobile phone, business card holder, paper version of the notebook, some materials on the case, and other objects had all been taken away. The hard disk of the computer had been totally formatted and a large amount of data was lost. When some were beating him, other agents must have been examining and copying the data in his computer.
At the end of his statement, attorney Li said "I long for the rule of law and the peaceful progress of the society. I told them at the site of beating that I wouldn't hate them. I wish the light of rule of law would shine on China and all my Chinese compatriots, including those who beat me."
Invited by CAA, along with six other human rights lawyers and activists from China, Li Heping paid one week visit to the US from October 10-17, 2005. During that visit, Mr. Li met with senior leaders from the US government and Congress including Ambassador John Hanford and Mark Lagon of the State Department, Dr. Will Inboden of the National Security Council of the White House, Congressman Chris Smith, Congressman Frank Wolf, Senator Sam Brownback, as well as senior staff at CECC (www.CECC.gov), USIRF (www.uscirf.gov), and on the House International Relations Committee.
Meanwhile, CAA learned that two Beijing house church activists have been held under house arrest since October 1, the Chinese National Day. Pastor Hua Huiqi and Liu Fenggang who were released in this July and February after serving 6-month and 3-year imprisonment respectively, were not allowed to go out of their homes. Each of their houses has been surrounded by two dozen police. Some PSB officers were even staged on top of Pastor Hua's roof in order to prevent anyone from coming in or going out. Early this morning, October 3, 8 PSB officers broke Hua and his wife's bedroom windows, and then cut off the electricity to their house. Pastor Hua was told his 77-year-old mom Ms. Shuang Shuying has been serving a two year sentence as a hostage of Hua's rights defense activism. She was beaten severely recently without medical care and is now dying in her prison cell. Hua today issued a letter entitled as "Pray for the Chinese Police" in which he called upon the international community to pray for the Chinese leadership and police to "soften their hearts and release my ailing mom so that the Gospel can spread in China freely."
"The brutal act of state terrorism against attorney Li and the two pastors sent a chilling signal to all the peaceful rights defenders in China. This definitely represents a new low for the environment of human rights and the reality of the rule of law in the city hosting the 2008 Olympics,' said Bob Fu, "if China can't tolerate a moderate lawyer like Mr. Li, who should have any confidence in the Chinese leaders' other international commitments?"
Communicate your concern to the Chinese authority at the following address:
Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong,
Embassy of the People's Republic of China
2300 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington DC 20008
Fax: 202- 588-0032; 202-7457473
Director of Religious Affairs: (202) 328-2512
Premier Wen Jiabao, PRC
PO Box 1741, The State Council, Beijing, PRC (zip code 100017)
Contact Phone: +86-10-66012399
Ms. Wu Aiying, minister of Ministry of Justice of PRC
Address: No. 10, Nan Da Jie, Chaoyangmen, Beijing City (Zip Code: 100020)
Issued by China Aid Association, Inc. October 3, 2007