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Stop Inhuman Illegal Detention!
Call on China to Release Bishop Cui Tai
Bishop Cui Tai, coadjutor bishop of Xuanhua Diocese in Hebei province, was taken away again by the authorities in mid-April 2018. His current situation is unclear. In order to maintain his faith and conscience, Bishop Cui has long openly rejected the religious policies that violate the principle of his faith and rejected to accept the leadership of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, thus resulting in long-term persecution.
Since 1993, due to his insistence in exercising his rights to freedom of religion, he has been held in “re-education through labour”(RTL), detained and placed under house arrest for alleged offences of “illegal evangelization” and “illegally organizing religious assemblies”. For the past 11 years, the authorities have repeatedly illegally detained him and placed him under house arrest without any reason or without following any legal procedures. He has repeatedly been detained in undisclosed, secret locations , or held in various detention facilities or hostels, and he has been “forcibly travelled ”(a tactic the Chinese government uses against human rights defenders and prominent intellectuals when there are major political events, meetings with heads of state, or other sensitive affairs in which they want to ensure a target person is unreachable by the outside world) by the authorities. Each year, only during the Lunar New Year and Mid-Autumn Festival periods is Bishop Cui allowed to briefly return home to visit his aging older sister – the rest of the year he is detained by the authorities. What the Chinese authorities have done has seriously violated China’s Constitution and the civil rights and religious freedom protected in the international human rights conventions.
In recent years, Bishop Cui’s health condition has been getting worse. He suffers from serious gastritis, neurasthenia and dizziness. We are very concerned about his condition and we strongly condemn the Chinese authorities’ behaviours to infringe citizens’ basic rights and religious freedom. We call on the Chinese government:
1. To guarantee the personal safety and health of Bishop Cui Tai and ensure that he receives proper and adequate medical treatment;
2. To respect religious freedom and immediately and unconditionally release Bishop Cui Tai;
3. To release all the other unreasonably and illegally detained clergy, including Bishop Su Zhimin and Father Liu Honggeng of Baoding Diocese in Hebei province.
Justice and Peace Commission of the Hong Kong Catholic Diocese
Remarks: Bishop Cui Tai’s bio
Bishop Augustine Cui Tai was born in Zhangjiakou, Hebei province, in 1950. In 1990, he was ordained a priest by Bishop Shi Enxiang of Yixian Diocese in Hebei after receiving formation at the Baoding Seminary in Hebei. In 2013, he was appointed to be the coadjutor bishop of Xuanhua Diocese in Hebei. Bishop Cui is a pastor who leads a simple life, upholds strict self-discipline and is filled with holiness.