09/11/2020 China (International Christian Concern) – A prominent Chinese house church leader and rights activist who has been behind bars since 2016, is still denied medical parole, according to his family.
Chinese human rights watchdog Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch reported on September 5 that elder Hu Shigen was visited by his family at the Tianjin Prison Hospital last month. Due to the pandemic, the prison only allowed his younger sister to meet him virtually instead of face-to-face visit.
His brother told Beijing-based activist Liu Yue that elder Hu’s health is generally acceptable. Given his Coronary Artery Disease and other chronic disease history before his imprisonment, he has been staying at the prison’s hospital. Although his family has repeatedly applied for medical parole for him, it is still being denied. Medical parole seems unlikely in the near future.
Hu Shigen, a leader of several house churches, was found guilty of subversion, sentenced to seven years and six months’ imprisonment and derived of political rights for five years in 2016.
Prior to that, he had spent 16 years in prison for helping publicize the government’s violent crackdown on student protesters near Tiananmen Square in 1989.
The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) Commissioner Bauer adopted Hu Shigen in 2018 as part of USCIRF’s Religious Prisoners of Conscience Project.
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