A relay hunger strike has drawn participation from Chinese around the world in protest against the severe violation of human rights by the Chinese Communist regime.
The campaign was initiated by the global Chinese newspaper the Epoch Times. The first announcement was made from "Relay Hunger Strike for Human Rights Support Group" on Feb. 15 via the U.S.-based Chinese Christian persecution watchdog China Aid Association (CAA), calling on Chinese worldwide to insert pressure on the Chinese government for its poor human rights policy.
The group involves the prominent Christian human rights activist Attorney Gao Zhisheng and other like-minded writers or lawyers. It sternly condemned "the inhuman and barbarous, violent deeds of the Communist regime" and "the evil deeds and the persecution must be stopped," according to its statement.
The hunger strike is planned to last for a whole year with two persons at a time for 24 hours, but it depends on whether there are enough volunteers to keep it going, the Epoch Times reported. Currently, it was announced that the hunger strike would last for at least one month.
According to Epoch Times, the enrollment in the "Relay Hunger Strike for Human Rights Support Group" in Mainland China has been increasing enthusiastically. Volunteers are from 22 to 23 provinces. In addition, volunteers from the United States, Canada, Germany, France, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan and many other countries are pouring in.
Massive enrollment has alerted the Chinese authorities, prompting them to interfere with the preparation of hunger strike activities; they have even warned and threatened participants, Epoch Times reported.
The hunger strike was triggered by the escalating persecution on human rights activists in China. The most well-known case is Attorney Gao’s one. Gao and his family members have been under constant surveillance by plain-clothes police officers since last October. He has presented himself as one of the leading attorneys in the court in the high-profile case of the Beijing house church pastor Cai Zhuohua last year.
Most recently, CAA unveiled that Dr. Xu Yonghai, former psychiatric doctor at Beiijing Pingan Hospital and a member of the unofficial Protestant church Beijing Christian Sacred Love Fellowship, is being monitored by Chinese security agents after his release from a two-year prison term.
According to Amnesty International, Xu and two of the other church members prepared several reports documenting the destruction of churches and the harsh treatment suffered by members of underground congregations. Xu sent these documents to a U.S.-based Chinese-language magazine Christian Life Quarterly. They were then being charged with "providing state secrets to foreign organizations" and detained.
Xianzhi "Sarah" Liu, a missionary worker of the unregistered South China Church, shared her reflection with CAA when participating in a 3-day hunger strike prayer, "I spent this day of hunger strike in prayers and work and I am feeling the obvious weakness in the body. However, it is my belief that because of the supplications from His sons and daughters, God will bring sane and lawful law enforcement personnel in China and that He will let every citizen and Christian there truly enjoy the rights defined by the law."