Tag Archives: Political Prisoner

How China coerces sterilization and sells the organs of prisoners

From the UK Times. (H/T Secondhand Smoke)

Excerpt:

Doctors in southern China are working around the clock to fulfil a government goal to sterilise — by force if necessary — almost 10,000 men and women who have violated birth control policies. Family planning authorities are so determined to stop couples from producing more children than the regulations allow that they are detaining the relatives of those who resist. About 1,300 people are being held in cramped conditions in towns across Puning county, in Guangdong Province, as officials try to put pressure on couples who have illegal children to come forward for sterilisation.

And from the Washington Times. (H/T Secondhand Smoke)

Excerpt:

In a news conference on Capitol Hill, several speakers, including attorney David Matas of B’nai Brith Canada and Ethan Gutmann of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, said their investigations have unearthed a grisly trade in which an estimated 9,000 members of Falun Gong have been executed for their corneas, lungs, livers, kidneys and skins.

They likened the practice to the Nazi treatment of Jewish prisoners in World War II concentration camps, which included using them for sadistic medical experiments and taking the gold fillings from the teeth of corpses. The newest wrinkle, they said, is that organs from other religious prisoners — specifically dissidents from China’s Christian, Muslim and Tibetan Buddhist communities — are also being harvested to satisfy an insatiable global demand.

This is a tough dilemma for me. On the one hand, I value free trade, and free trade is what gives us leverage to raise these human rights abuses with China – because they need our purchases. On the other hand, how can we have any kind of relationship with a country like this? It’s too bad that human rights groups like Amnesty International are so radically on the left. Instead of spending their time bashing the USA for waterboarding terrorists, they should be looking into actual crimes.

Two Iranian Christian women released from Iranian prison after 259 days

Marzieh Amirizadeh, 30, and Maryam Rustampoor, 27

Story from Christianity Today.

Excerpt:

Coming on the heels of the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (Nov. 8), Christian religious-freedom groups celebrated a victory yesterday in Iran. Marzieh Amirizadeh Esmaeilabad, 30, and Maryam Rustampoor, 27 — two Iranian converts to Christianity — were freed after being imprisoned for 259 days.

Authorities raided the women’s apartment, which contained “Christian literature,” on March 5. The women were charged with anti-state activity, spreading Christianity, and apostasy (deserting one’s faith), and were placed in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison.

In Iran, apostasy alone is punishable by execution or life in prison.

[…]While in custody, reports came that the two women endured “intense interrogations which have reportedly included sleep deprivation and other psychological pressure.” In the past, Evin in particular has been accused of denying its inmates basic rights, and both women suffered from poor health that went untreated.

Now consider this from BosNewsLife:

After a deputy prosecutor reportedly told them, “It is impossible for God to speak with humans,” Esmaeilabad apparently replied: “Are you questioning whether God is Almighty?” The prosecution was heard telling her that she is “not worthy for God” but Esmaeilabad countered: “‘It is God, and not you, who determines if I am worthy.” After they were told by a court to return to prison and think about their options, the two women were heard saying: “We have already done our thinking. If we come out of prison we want to do so with honor.”

Honor is a very important thing for Christians. To me, honor means “your reputation with God”. And Christians are expected to endure persecution at the hands of non-Christians while keeping their honor intact. But I think that the suffering and cruelty endured by these women goes above and beyond the call of duty. I hope that I will be as honorable as these women if I ever faced similar troubles. But to be honest, I don’t think I could do 1% as well as they did. This was amazing. I hope they can keep this up. So far, so good, but it must be very difficult for them.

So to show them my respect and admiration, I’m going to quote a Bible passage that describes them.

1 Corinthians 4:1-4:

1So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God.

2Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.

3I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself.

4My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me.

One of my favorites passages in the Bible. This passage defines the attitude that Christians should have.

And here’s one more passage, because there are two of them.

Matthew 5:13-16:

13“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.

14“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.

15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.

16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

The Christianity Today article is a great summary of the entire story, in case you were not following it. The article notes that the two women will have to appear in court again at some point in the future.

Some good news for the two jailed Iranian Christian women

Update to the story from the Christian Post.

Excerpt:

An Iranian judge charged two jailed female converts with “crimes” of apostasy and propagation of the Christian faith, a human rights group reported.

Washington D.C.-based International Christian Concern said it has learned from Elam ministries in Iran Wednesday that Maryam Rustampoor and Marzieh Amirizadeh were unexpectedly taken to appear before the court Tuesday morning and were formally charged by the judge.

[…]However, in a positive development, the report said, the judge had dropped the earlier charge of anti-state activities. Their case has now been transferred from the revolutionary court to the regular courts. The women and their lawyer are pleased with this development, it stated.

The two converts were arrested on March 5 for leaving Islam and embracing Christianity. They were placed in a solitary confinement in the infamous Evin prison, deprived of medical attention and often blindfolded during interrogations for several hours over the course of five months without being charged.

Iranian officials accused them of “anti-state activities” following their conversion from Islam to Christianity. After five months, they were tried on August 9 by the revolutionary court and ordered to recant their faith in Christ which they said they will never do. The women remained in prison until they appeared again in court on Tuesday when they were finally charged.

Elam ministries said both of them are in poor health. On October 4, Rustampoor suffered severe food poisoning and was given medical attention after much insistence.

In an interview with the Voice of America Persian News Network, Rustampoor and Amirizadeh’s lawyer said, “My clients are not prepared to lie about their faith under any condition.”

Please pray for these two brave women as often as you can, and don’t forget to pray for Rifqa Bary, as well.