Detained activist Hua Huiqi escapes from sleeping Chinese guards
Hua Huiqi, a prominent Chinese Christian activist and 'underground pastor,' escaped from Chinese police after being detained on his way to the Kuanjie Protestant Church in Beijing. Huiqi is now in hiding.
Human Rights in China says underground pastor and religious dissident Hua Huiqi has escaped from the police after being detained together with his older brother while they were on their way to the Kuanjie Protestant Church in Beijing for a service that President George Bush was scheduled to attend. Both men are said to have been roughed up and "warned that their legs would be broken if they persisted in their efforts to attend church services", but the older Hua was soon released. Subsequently though, while his minders were fast asleep, Hua Huiqi managed to make his escape and is now in hiding. While the Beijing PSB has declined to confirm Hua's detention, the older brother says he has received numerous phone calls from them asking about the pastor's whereabouts. Calls made by the IHT to Hua's brother were disconnected several times due to alleged phone tapping by PSB agents.
The New York-based Human Rights in China group said Hua Huiqi contacted them directly Monday and sent a short letter describing his detention and escape.
Hua said he was intercepted by "seven to eight plainclothes officers who beat me and dragged me and my brother Hua Huilin into two separate cars," the group said.
"They asked me why I was going to Kuanjie Protestant Church to worship and threatened me, saying, 'You are not allowed to go ... because President Bush is going there today. If you (try to) go again, we will break your legs,'" the group said Hua wrote.
"After about four or five hours, when I saw that the people who were watching me had all fallen asleep, I fled. But I'm afraid to go home," he wrote.