3 March, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 01/03/2013
CHINA - VATICAN
Hebei Catholics: Penal Code reform means Xi Jinping must free imprisoned bishops and priests
by Bernardo Cervellera
The new laws, in force since 1st January 2013, provide for immediate access to a lawyer; immediate notification for the relatives; limits detention without trial to six months. Bishops and priests imprisoned without trial for seven years or more, should be allowed return home or receive visits from their relatives. Optimism of some faithful Hebei; skepticism of other church figures.

Rome (AsiaNews) - Hebei priests and faithful are eagerly awaiting the return of their bishops and priests who have disappeared in police custody for years. From 1st January 2013, their hope of seeing their pastors, some detainees without trial for 15 years and more, it also has a legal basis.

Since the beginning of this year, in fact, the reformed penal code has passed into law which, at least in intention, aims to "respect and protect human rights." An example of this is that under the new law no one should be forced to incriminate themselves and all arrests must be based on evidence "obtained in a legal manner", i.e. not through torture.

The law also ensures immediate access to a lawyer within 48 hours of a request being made, and that the relatives of the suspect are to be informed of the circumstances and place of detention.  Moreover during the period of detention, the suspect must be guaranteed an adequate diet and sleep. Finally, the police can not detain a person without charge for more than six months.

A Hebei priest told AsiaNews that under these new laws, enacted in the era of Xi Jinping, Msgr. James Su Zhimin, the underground bishop of Baoding (ds in the photo), 80, who disappeared in police custody 15 years ago, should be able to return home. His family every year, on the anniversary of his kidnapping, ask the police where their relative is being held, as of this year they will finally have an answer different from the one received in the past ("We do not know!") .

There is also "legal" hope for Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang, 90 years old, underground bishop of Yixian (left in photo). Arrested by police and detained without trial since 2001, according to the new laws he should be able to return to his family and its dynamic diocese.

Hope for all the priests arrested and sentenced to forced labor without trial: last year AsiaNews listed at least six. Among these, the most prominent personality is certainly Fr. Joseph Lu clergyman, vicar general of the underground diocese of Baoding (Hebei), missing in the hands of the police since February 17, 2006. His faithful await his return. They have told AsiaNews : "If he is not released, this would be unfair, under the new law, they must at least say where he is secluded and grant us the right to go and visit him."

Other church figures do not share the enthusiasm of these faithful in Hebei. They point out that the new legislation does not assert the independence of the judiciary from the Communist Party, which still oversees the application of each law. And they recall that in 2004 there was the amendment to the constitution to include the phrase "respect for and protection of human rights." But since then nothing has changed.

 


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
11/02/2004 PAKISTAN
Changes to Blasphemy Law fall short of expectations
by Qaiser Felix
03/14/2012 CHINA
Indiscriminate arrests by law: Chinese police given free license
11/19/2013 CHINA - VATICAN
Two priests from underground Church in prison. Doubts about Xi Jinping’s "unprecedented" reforms
by Bernardo Cervellera
09/11/2004 vatican - china
Holy See calls for Beijing to free detained priests, bishops and seminarians
06/11/2014 CHINA-VATICAN
Apostolic administrator of Yujiang arrested as China attempts to "eradicate" underground Church
by Bernardo Cervellera

Editor's choices
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.