Amid ongoing jailing of believers, forced confessions, destruction of churches and tearing down of crosses at the hands of the authoritarian Chinese government, China Aid president Bob Fu accused the Communist regime of making a mockery of "basic justice" and has urged the international community to "unequivocally condemn" such "disregard of the rule of law".
"After more than 12 months of arbitrary arrest and detention in 'black jails' without any legitimate legal representation or family visitations, these rushed trials and harsh sentences are clearly nothing but political and religious persecution," Fu said, referring to the coerced confessions of house church leader Hu Shigen and multiple human rights lawyers, along with the harassment of their families.
"The international community should unequivocally condemn this total disregard of the rule of law and the Chinese government's commitment to international human rights laws. As the two co-chairs of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, Senator Rubio and Representative Smith stated today, this is a mockery to basic justice," he continued.
As earlier reported, Hu Shigen, a leader of an underground church movement, was earlier this month found guilty of subversion, sentenced to seven years and six months' imprisonment and deprived of political rights for five years.
Hu, who previously spent 16 years in prison for "political offenses" such as sharing leaflets about China's 1989 crackdown on protesters in Tiananmen Square, reportedly confessed to being linked to "foreign anti-China forces" and conspiring with members of the Fengrui firm about "how to get lawyers involved with sensitive incidents".
However, Hu's defenders say his main crime was leading underground Christian churches not monitored by the government and advocating greater freedom of speech and religion.
The imprisonment comes amid a week of sentencing against Christian rights activists and lawyers, all of whom were detained last year and accused of conspiring to overthrow the Chinese Communist party.
Last week, state media reported that rights activist Zhai Yamin confessed to subversion and was given a suspended three-year prison sentence. A day earlier, a prominent lawyer in the Fengrui firm, Wang Yu, was released from detention after appearing in a videotaped interview in which she blamed "foreign forces" for influencing the firm's activities."
Experts have argued that such confessions not only go against basic human dignity, but are also a violation of China's law stating that people cannot be forced to confess.
Continuing his statement, Fu urged the U.S. leaders to use the 2016 Group of 20 (G20) summit, held in the Chinese city of Hangzhou in early September, to urge the Communist government to release those imprisoned and end persecution against Christians across the country.
"With next month's G20 summit being held in China, we urge the United States to ask the Chinese government to immediately release those who were sentenced and those who are about to be tried in the next few days, including attorney Li Heping," Fu wrote. "The Chinese regime should also immediately stop mistreating their family members, including their wives and children."