By BosNewsLife Asia Service
BEIJING, CHINA (BosNewsLife)– A Christian human rights attorney was recovering of his injuries Wednesday, June 24, after he was detained, interrogated and tortured by officials of China’s Public Security Bureau (PSB), Christians said.
Zheng Enchong was held and attacked for some nine hours in Shanghai on June 17 by officers of the PSB, one of China’s main law enforcement agencies, because of his involvement in defending Chinese citizens whose land has been confiscated by the government, according to rights investigators.
“During his detention, he was beaten, stripped and cigarettes were held to his lips and eyelids,” said advocacy group China Aid Association (CAA), which has investigated the case. CAA said Zheng Enchong has filed a written protest and plans to file a complaint to the central government.
CAA cited local sources as saying that Zheng Enchong was summoned by the Zhabei District Branch of Shanghai Municipal Public Security Bureau on June 17 and “officers took turns slapping him five or six times in the face, and hitting him three times in the back of his head. Police also held lit cigarettes to his lips and eyelids.”
TAKING OFF CLOTHING
Officers allegedly also pulled him from the seat and took off all his clothing, except his underwear. “Police threw his personal belongings, including: money, keys, pen, and a Bible and some cookies to the floor. Then the PSB officers proceeded to search his body,” CAA said.
Zheng refused to sign an alleged false statement surrounding the circumstances of his arrest and instead wrote a declaration describing “his violent treatment by the PSB,” CAA said. “He denounced authorities for using the same method on him as they use on Falun Gong [sect] practitioners.”
Attorney Zheng has been summoned by officials nearly 20 times, and his house searched twice in the past two and a half months, CAA said.
In 2003, he filed a major legal case exposing how government officials allegedly conspired with Zhou Zhengyi, “the richest man in Shanghai, ” to illegally confiscate homes for demolition. “Since that time, Zheng Enchong has been continually harassed and persecuted by Chinese officials,” CAA said.
THREE YEARS PRISON
He was sentenced to three years in prison for “illegally providing secrets to overseas entities.” The charge apparently related to two faxes regarding workers’ protests that Zheng was accused of sending to Human Rights in China, a non-profit organization. “Zheng has also been beaten by authorities four times, so badly that he now has difficulty walking,” CAA said.
“As an internationally well-known Christian human rights lawyer, Attorney Zheng has always defended the poor and vulnerable, ” added Bob Fu, president of ChinaAid and a friend of Zheng and his family.
“The repeated harassment and torture against such a conscientious rights defender demonstrates the Shanghai authorities’ total disregard to citizens’ basic human rights. We encourage the international community to continue to press the Chinese authorities to stop these hideous acts and to hold the abusers accountable”.
Chinese officials have not commented on the case. The Communist government has repeatedly denied wrongdoing, saying there is religious freedom in China within the laws of the land.