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Wednesday, September 07, 2005

U.S. Court, Acknowledging Human Rights Abuses, Still Decides to Deport Tortured Chinese Christian

Xiaodong Li resided in Ningbo, China, where he conducted Bible studies with several friends as an evangelical church not official recognized by the Chinese government. Three officers broke into his apartment and arrested Li for participating in their underground church. Li was tortured for hours into a forced confession. He lost his job, was forced to clean toilets and faced two years in prison. Li was able to escape China, seeking asylum in the United States. An immigration judge granted his stay in 1999. In 2003 a Board of Immigration Appeals reversed the decision. In 2005, a three-judge panel of the federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed reversal.

The judicial rational for deporting Xiaodong Li is that the Chinese government was enforcing their laws against churches and Li feared prosecution, not persecution.

Dori Dinsmore, the former advocacy director for World Relief commented that the decision "sends a chilling message that the United States is beginning to turn its back on people fleeing religious persecution."

Ann Buwalda, founder and executive director of human-rights group Jubilee Campaign USA commented "Essentially, you've removed religion as a basis of gaining asylum."

U.S. Court Calls for Deportation of Chinese Christian

The Alliance Defense Fund is representing Xiaodong Li's appeal. David Cortman, ADF senior legal counsel, stated "What's incredible about [this case] is, the court admitted to the horrendous conditions in China. It's common knowledge, well-documented, about the human rights abuses and the civil rights and religious rights abuses in China."

U.S. Court Urged to Reverse Ruling Denying Tortured Chinese Christian Asylum

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