Dan Wooding

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK (ANS) -- A Christian human rights group has claimed that China has countered its demonstration of a torture device used by its interrogators upon Christian prisoners by filing a complaint at the United Nations NGO Committee in New York to suspend A Woman's Voice International, an organization with whom Jubilee Campaign has partnered with over the past three years on activities at the United Nations Human Rights Commission. (Pictured: A picture of Rev. Bob Fu demonstrating the torture device on April 5 at the U.N. Human Rights Commission plenary session in Geneva, Switzerland).

“Given less then five days to respond, we were unable to overcome the complaint despite the submission of four sworn affidavits to counter China's charges,” said a spokesperson for Jubilee Campaign USA, based in Fairfax, Virginia. “Some of the worst violators of human rights including China, Cuba, Iran, Sudan, and Zimbabwe out-voted the United States. A Woman's Voice International is suspended for one year for having spoken the truth about China's use of torture.”

The spokesperson went on to say, “A Woman's Voice International (AWVI) is committed to defending the dignity of women worldwide, particularly to counter culturally permitted acts of violence and inhumanity. Women and children are most often the forgotten victims in wars and famine and are subject to trafficking and exploitation as refugees. Consequently, the past three years, AWVI took the lead amongst non- governmental organizations at the U. N. Human Rights Commission to raise the plight of North Korean refugees who flee the tyranny and starvation of Kim Jong Il to China where over 90% of North Korean women find themselves trafficked before help can be found.

“During each of the past three years, AWVI has sponsored parallel meetings during which defectors and survivors of labor camps shared the horrors of living in North Korea, especially if found to be a Christian. During this year's parallel meeting, AWVI also showed a video in which a defector returned by China to North Korea can be seen pronounced ‘guilty’ by a North Korean judge and executed by firing squad for his ‘illegal border crossing.’

“These past two years, members of AWVI also took the lead in organizing a parallel meeting to highlight the plight of the suffering church in China. Both years AWVI invited Rev. Bob Fu, President of China Aid Association and members of the Midland Ministerial Alliance of Midland, Texas, to provide graphic testimony of house church leaders arrested and tortured.

“Last year, AWVI showed video testimony of three women parishioners belonging to one of the branches of the South China Church who suffered arrest and torture, including sexual abuse, at the hands of authorities until they gave false testimony against Pastor Gong. Following this coerced testimony, Pastor Gong was sentenced to life in prison on October 10, 2002, and has subsequently become paralyzed due to the torture afflicted upon him while in prison.

“This year, one of these women who managed to escape China following her release from prison and receive refuge in the United States testified to the parallel meeting at the U.N. sponsored by AWVI. She described the use by Chinese secret police of a torture device the size of a flashlight and emitting electrical shocks on her body. Rev. Fu held up and set-off the device during the parallel meeting. Members of China-sponsored NGOs also attended that parallel meeting as did United Nations security.

“However, when several days later at a plenary session Rev. Fu again demonstrated the torture device during his turn to speak, the Chinese delegation began its relentless efforts to punish AWVI for daring to show the world a Chinese torture instrument. After finishing his speech, Rev. Fu was promptly ushered out of the assembly room, guards confiscated his credential badge, and he was ultimately escorted off of the U.N. grounds.”

Of this incident, Rev. Fu remarked, “I was forced into a police car from my home in Beijing to prison by the Chinese Public Security Bureau for my allegedly 'illegal religious activities.' Ironically, this is my second time put into a police car and it was sadly done by U.N. security guards. The only reason I was treated like that was because of a complaint filed by the representative of the torturers when the very torture device is being widely used even today at this moment against hundreds of thousands of victims of conscience as described in its specifications as 'an ideal tool for the Chinese law enforcement officials'.”

Rev. Fu made these comments on April 19, 2005, to the Committee on International Relations, Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights, and International Operations of the U.S. House of Representatives as Chaired by Congressman Chris Smith.

“In recent years, the worst violators of human rights have positioned themselves to be the gatekeepers of information at the United Nations and annually seek to suspend or sanction those organizations most vocal in their criticism,” added the Jubilee Campaign spokesperson. “A few years ago, Sudan prompted the permanent ouster of Christian Solidarity International for its work on behalf of the Christian and animists in the South of that country. Vietnam has for two years sought to oust the Transnational Radical Party for raising the plight of the Montagnards and Christian churches persecuted in Vietnam. Cuba was unsuccessful in its efforts to suspend Freedom House.”

Ann Buwalda, USA Director of Jubilee Campaign, stated, “China silences all opposition at home with brutal measures and has sought to crush the unregistered house church movement by eliminating its leaders. By its action against A Woman's Voice International, it has expanded its reach to silence an international organization deeply committed to justice for the oppressed poor. Yet, truth will triumph, and A Woman's Voice International will continue to speak truth with or without the United Nations stamp of approval.”

The NGO Committee's vote recommending a one year suspension of AWVI will be reviewed by the full meeting of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in July. There is some hope that with a Swiss lawyer assisting us, we could overcome China's complaint that the presence of the device at the U.N. in Geneva violated Swiss law and reverse the NGO Committee vote. To do this, we need a Swiss or French lawyer with access to Swiss law to help us.

“The alternative is that, sadly, next year A Woman's Voice International will be a silenced voice -- silenced by China,” concluded the spokesperson.