Thursday, January 15, 2009

Chinese authorities deny dying husband's request for a final visit with his imprisoned wife

pastor-huas-father Chinese government authorities have denied Hua Zaichen, 91, visitation with his imprisoned wife, 79-year-old Shuang Shuying, according to China Aid Association (CAA).

Zaichen, who is deathly ill, requested a final meeting with his wife to say his goodbyes, but officials refused to grant the request. “Authorities say Shuang Shuying in not allowed to leave prison before February 8, 2009, the end of her two-year sentence. Officials stated that if her husband died before then, she would be allowed to see his body for 10 minutes and would have to be chained, handcuffed, shackled and wearing a prison uniform,” CAA added.

The government’s refusal to allow Zaichen to see his wife is the latest in a series of incidents including attacks, arrests and imprisonments for his family. In January 2007, Hua Huiqi and his 76-year-old mother, Shuang Shuying, were attacked and wounded by seven police officers while walking near a 2008 Olympic hotel site in Beijing. CAA reported, “They were kicked to the ground and later taken to the Olympic police station for questioning.” Hua’s mother was sentenced to two years in prison for “intentional damage of properties”, while Hua served six months.  Her crime?  Her cane accidentally hit a machine in the lobby of a government building she had sought refuge in during the arrest. In October 2007, while under house arrest, Hua was repeatedly attacked and beaten by police at his home. Hua was reading his Bible at his home despite police surrounding his house. He was sent to Beijing Tiantan Hospital because he lost consciousness after repeated beatings from the police.

Shuang Shuying has remained in prison and is also reportedly very ill. She has been held in a medical centre because her health has deteriorated.

Pray for this courageous family during this time.  Pray that God will move the hearts of the Chinese authorities to release Shuang.

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