Gong Dazhi: Fled religious persecution in China, now waiting for refugee status in Spain

 

– The case of Gong Dazhi, a member of the Church of Almighty God

 

– Human Rights Without Frontiers calls upon the Spanish authorities to grant refugee status immediately to believers of all faiths that are persecuted in China

 

– HRWF (28.05.2020) – After thirteen years of harrowing persecution in China due to being a member of The Church of Almighty God, Gong Dazhi, 41, shared his story with HRWF. He was detained and subjected to horrific torture. In April 2019, he arrived in Spain and applied for asylum. To this day, he is waiting to hear whether he will be recognised as a political refugee or not.

 

Arrested and tortured in 2003

 

“On 15 March 2003, I was arrested in Jilin Province because of my faith in The Church of Almighty God and my evangelism activities. While detained, I was tortured and then sentenced to one year of so-called ‘re-education’ through labour.

 

On the day of my arrest, I was reported to the police by passers-by for preaching the gospel with an elderly sister. The police confiscated our books and took us to the Jingyue Town Police Station in Erdao District, Changchun City, Jilin Province. It is in the Changchun Municipal Public Security Bureau that my first experience of torture occurred.

 

The policemen put hoods over our heads, handcuffed us and took us to a secret interrogation room. They put me on a tiger bench, twisted and lifted my arms behind my back, and then placed my arms on the iron rail at the top of the tiger bench. They handcuffed my wrists in that position and tied a white nylon rope to the chain between the handcuffs. They also tied my feet to the tiger bench with another rope.

 

A young officer slapped me hard in the face. A middle-aged policeman yanked the nylon rope connected to my handcuffs while simultaneously stomping on the rope attached. The handcuffs pulled on my wrists so tightly that it felt like the metal was cutting through my bones.

 

The officers attempted to force me to identify and denounce my fellow brothers and sisters in the church. When I refused, they placed two thick white plastic bags over my head and tightened them around my neck. One officer repeatedly punched my chest while another treaded hard on the rope connected to the handcuffs at the same time.

 

I was being suffocated while experiencing excruciating pain. I struggled and, in the process, managed to free my feet from the rope. I twisted my feet around the chair legs, trying to tear the plastic bags with my teeth so that I could breathe. Despite my best attempts, I failed to create a hole and subsequently passed out.

 

The police revived me by pouring cold water on me. When I came to, gasping for breath, they interrogated me about the church. Again, I refused to tell them anything, and so they put the plastic bags back over my head and trod harder on the rope tied to my handcuffs. I fainted again from a lack of oxygen. They repeatedly tortured me in this way until they were exhausted.”

 

Tortured and sentenced

 

“The next evening, the police took me to Daguang Detention Center of Changchun Municipal Public Security Bureau. After seven days of detention and torture I was charged with ‘disturbing the social order’ and sentenced to one year of so-called ‘re-education’ through labour. I was sent to the Chaoyanggou Labour Camp in Changchun City to serve my sentence.”

 

Tortured again and subjected to inhumane labour 

 

“At the camp, the guards often instigated other prisoners into torturing me. I was forced to carry out intense physical labour every day that year without pay. I was woken up at 5 am every day and had to work until midnight. If I couldn’t finish the compulsory tasks within the stipulated time, I would be subjected to severe beatings.

 

Additionally, the prison guards and inmate boss often forced me to handwash clothes and sheets for them, even when the temperature of the winter in Jilin Province was colder than minus 20 degrees Celsius. The water was icy and it took two or three hours to do the washing, which created great pain in the joints of my fingers.

 

If I stood in the wrong line at the cafeteria, the inmate boss would punish me by forcing me to bend down until my head touched the iron pipe at the corner and lift my hands as high as I could from my back. I would have to stay in this position for a prolonged period of time. They would also hit my mouth hard with a 30 cm long bamboo plate. I lived in constant fear.

 

After my release in 2004, I had to go into hiding, moving from place to place, because the police were searching for me.”

 

Forced to flee China

 

After living in hiding and nonstop fear for many years, Gong Dazhi fled China “to freely practice my faith”, as he said to HRWF. He arrived in Spain in April 2019. He now has an interim residence permit and is waiting for a final decision on his asylum application. He says: “I’m often afraid that I may be sent back to China where I have suffered so much persecution by the Chinese Community Party (CCP) government. I do not want to experience that ever again.”

 

HRWF Comment

 

Since Xi Jinping came into power in 2012, the Chinese Government has dramatically escalated the persecution of Christians and other religions.

 

HRWF’s Database of Prisoners in China is regularly updated. At the time of writing, it has documented over 4,000 cases where members of The Church of Almighty God are imprisoned. This figure is estimated to be only the tip of the iceberg.

 

See HRWF’s Prisoners’ Database here: https://hrwf.eu/hrwf-prisoners-database-china/




From China to Spain to flee discriminatory arrests and torture

– The case of Zhang Wenbo, a member of the Church of Almighty God

 

– Human Rights Without Frontiers calls upon the Spanish authorities to grant refugee status to believers of all faiths that are persecuted in China.

 

– HRWF (27.05.2020) – In December 2019, Zhang Wenbo, 50, landed in Spain after escaping the “Chinese Communist paradise” where he had spent nearly his entire life. He hopes to start a new life in this safe haven, where he is free to practice his religion without fear. About 600 asylum seekers from China who fled harsh religious persecution are still waiting for Madrid to recognise them as refugees. Spain has not threatened to deport any of them, but it has not granted them political asylum either.

 

Zhang Wenbo was born in a Christian family in Henan province, one of the cradles of Chinese civilization. As an adult he converted to The Church of Almighty God, and he has now been a member of it for 22 years. He was arrested twice by the Chinese police in 2003 and 2012 due to his missionary activities inside the country. Both times, he was subjected to inhumane torture and nearly killed.

 

He shared his experience of religious persecution in China with Human Rights Without Frontiers (HRWF):

 

Arrested and tortured in 2003

 

“I was arrested for the first time because of my faith in 2003. Over a dozen police officers surrounded the place where four of us were worshipping. We were apprehended and tortured to reveal the names of our church leaders. I was forced into painful positions for prolonged periods of time, such as half squatting. Additionally, they shone a 1000-watt spotlight into my eyes which caused severe pain in my head, but they would beat me if I closed my eyes.

 

After this incident, the police visited my furniture shop frequently. They would ask me whether I continued believing in God. Sometimes they would take me to the police station and try to force me to revoke my faith. To evade potential arrest and further persecution from the Communist Party of China (CCP), I had no choice but to go into hiding.”

 

Arrested again and tortured in 2012

 

“On 17 December 2012, the director of Tongren City Public Security Bureau and over a dozen officers discovered our hiding place. They confiscated more than 10 cellphones, 6,000 RMB (about 850 USD) in cash and a deposit book. They then took me to the Bijiang District Police Station of Tongren City, where they interrogated me about our church leaders. As I refused to cooperate, they slapped me in the face, punched me and kicked me. I was assaulted to the point that I felt dizzy and pain all over.

 

Over the course of 16 days, I was subjected to torture as the officers tried to force me to talk. I was taken to the basement of the police station for the so-called ‘swing treatment’. While handcuffed, I was hung on a door frame so that my feet were no longer touching the ground. They tied my feet to a rope and then, for an hour and a half, they swung my legs back and forth. This caused excruciating pain in my wrists and blackened my hands.

 

Since I still refused to betray our church leaders, they then laid me on the ground and hit my back, waist and shoulders with a 70 cm long steel tube, fracturing my ribs. I was then forced to kneel, and this steel tube was rolled over my calves. This was so painful that I thought it was crushing my knees and ankles.

 

Then, one of my handcuffed wrists was hung high above my head on the wall, so that only one of my feet could touch the ground, whilst the other hand was tied around my back. This meant I was hanging from one arm and barely standing on one leg, and so I could neither stand or squat down.

 

On 3 January 2013, I was transferred to Bijiang District Detention Center in Tongren City. I was detained there for an additional 23 days.

 

During my detention, I was fed minimally. Other inmates often abused me and beat me up due to instigation from the guards. Also, at one point, the authorities forced me into a wooden chair and stabbed my genitals with a long iron awl.

 

On 26 January 2013, my family and friends from the church used their connections to obtain my release on bail. My freedom was bought with 16,000 RMB (about 2,290 USD), although the standard fee was registered as only 3,000 RMB (about 430 USD).

 

To this day I have not recovered from this torture. It traumatized me and created long-term physical damage to the extent that now I am unable to do any physical labor.”

 

Under constant threat of a new arrest: no choice but to flee

 

“After my release in 2013, I was under strict surveillance by the police. I had to report to them every month and they threatened and interrogated me on a regular basis.

Between 2013 and 2018, I was always on the run, moving from place to place and living in constant fear and pain. While preaching in Sanmenxia City of Henan Province in 2013, I was reported to the police and narrowly escaped arrest. In 2016, I was questioned by the police in Yiyang City. Ultimately, I realized that I had no alternative but to leave China if I wanted to live according to my faith.

 

In December 2019, I managed, with great difficulty, to obtain a passport and flee to Spain. I submitted my asylum application and received an interim residence permit. In February 2020, my case was heard by the refugee board. Now I’m awaiting the decision from the Spanish government.”

 

HRWF Comment: During his interview with HRWF, he disclosed many more details about additional sexual torture that he was subjected to.




COVID-19: A church of the St Pius X Society in Paris faces ‘fake news’ and stigmatisation

By Willy Fautré, Human Rights Without Frontiers

 

HRWF (29.05.2020) – The Church of Saint-Nicolas-du-Chardonnet does not have a good reputation in France and the Vatican. Since 27 February 1977, when it was forcibly occupied by people affiliated with the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), which it unofficially depends on, this church is the main place of worship for the traditionalist Catholic movement in Paris. Expulsion orders have been issued by courts, but they have never been implemented. The mass is said in Latin and the new modernising adaptations by the Roman Catholic Church at the Council of Vatican II (1962-1965) are banned.

 

COVID-19 provided an ideal opportunity for some media outlets to discredit this controversial church by using questionable methods and arguments. It all started on Easter Sunday.

Media snowball effect and escalation

Sunday 12 April 2020 (Easter), AFP-La Croix/ Covid 19 : a clandestine Easter mass in the Saint-Nicolas-du-Chardonnet church (https://bit.ly/2ZDwSVT)

 

Under the title of this AFP press release, which the daily paper La Croix published without any comment or verification, was the subtitle: “A clandestine Easter mass has taken place in the Saturday-Sunday night in the traditionalist Saint-Nicolas-du-Chardonnet church in Paris. Church members participated and the priest was fined for breaching the confinement regulations.”

 

According to this release,

 

  • a few dozen people participated in a mass at this church in the 5th arrondissement (district) in Paris, which continues to celebrate the mass in Latin, despite Vatican II
  • on Saturday evening, local residents alerted the police after having heard music coming from the church
  • at midnight, members exited the church and told the police that there had been about forty people inside
  • police officers contacted the priest, who was fined, according to an unidentified police source
  • a video broadcasting on YouTube showed around thirty clerics and children serving the mass, without any masks and without respecting social distancing rules
  • the video broadcast on YouTube showed about 30 clerics and children serving the mass, all of them without a mask and no social distancing
  • the eucharist was distributed from hand to mouth to a dozen participants
  • there were no attendees in the church

 

Sunday 12 April 2020, Police station/ Twitter

 

On that day, the Twitter account of the police station read: “this night in #Paris05, a religious service took place in a church despite the confinement measures. When the police came to control it, all doors were closed. After the mass they fined the ecclesiastical authority that led the mass.” Where and when a priest would have been fined was not mentioned in the tweet.

 

Strange message from the police: A mass celebration may take place despite the confinement measures, but only if people do not participate and it happens behind closed doors, which was the case with the Saint-Nicolas-du-Chardonnet church. In all cathedrals in France, Easter masses were celebrated by bishops behind closed doors. Moreover, it is not in the habits of the French police to crackdown on a Catholic church, a Protestant temple, a mosque or a synagogue.

 

Sunday 12 April 2020, Le Point/ Clandestine Easter mass (https://bit.ly/2ZGff7R)

 

Le Point additionally declared that a 135 EUR fine had been imposed on a priest.

 

One must wonder how any police action was possible if the doors were shut and how the police imposed a fine on a priest in a closed church.

 

Moreover, Le Point posted a video showing a church full of people inside. However, this was an archived picture and not the alleged clandestine evening mass of 11 April. Moreover, it was not a screen shot either.

 

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the charismatic leader of a left-wing political movement, used his interview on the prime-time RTL-TV programme « Le Grand Jury » to decry Catholics.

 

Two days later, Christophe Castaner, the Minister of the Interior, declared on France-Inter: “I was shocked by the celebration of this mass. It is irresponsible for a priest to hold it.” Despite basing this statement on fake news, this minister was not reproached by anyone. One must wonder whether he would have reacted in the same way, without any preliminary investigation into the story, if it had been about another religious community.

 

Tuesday 14 April 2020, Le Progrès/ Clandestine mass, a fine imposed on traditionalists (https://bit.ly/3es37eW)

 

This article reported that when the police arrived, the doors of the church were shut and the participants had slipped away. Therefore no one was fined.

 

Tuesday 14 April 2020, Valeurs Actuelles/ Saint-Nicolas-du-Chardonnet, « fake news » and coronavirus : the media in bad faith crisis (https://bit.ly/3grxDqN)

 

Father Danziec, a columnist at Valeurs Actuelles, declared that:

 

  • since the beginning of the confinement, it has been posted on the church website that church members could not participate in religious services and that they would be celebrated live on YouTube
  • the Easter Vigil was not « clandestine », instead it was celebrated at 10.30pm in the church and aired live on YouTube (26,000 views as of 14 April).

 

Wednesday 15 April 2020, Le Point/ Clandestine mass in Paris: the police told to leave (https://bit.ly/2M1WzY5)

 

Three days later, Le Point countered with an article titled: “Clandestine mass in Paris: the police told to leave”. This gave the impression that the police had been driven out of the church, when in fact it was closed. In the article, it was said that the officers went back to the police station on their superiors’ orders, which, according to the journalist, was an incomprehensible gesture of indulgence.

 

Without any serious evidence, the journalist continued with more accusations, which strengthened the stigmatising effect of his article:

 

  • the presence of outside participants during the religious service, which is false
  • statements made by alleged participants to the police officers at the exit, another lie as there were no participants for the police to speak to
  • the “incomprehensible” indulgence, according to the journalist, towards the attendees, as if the hierarchy of the police was lax in this situation
  • the police station saying to the Minister of the Interior that “the participants left the church through other exits” and had therefore eluded them, which is a non-established fact and an assumption without any evidence.

 

Worse still, the journalist described the video posted on the website of Le Point as « staggering » evidence of violations of the confinement rules, even though he knew that it was not the video of the Easter religious service.

 

 

What are the facts?

 

The pictures distributed by the Saint-Nicolas-du-Chardonnet speak for themselves:

https://twitter.com/MichelJanva/status/1249449549661450250
https://www.lesalonbeige.fr/une-messe-denoncee-par-des-voisins/

 

Moreover, the official church’s comment reveals the name of the priest – Petrucci – and asserts that he was never fined.

 

On Saturday evening, local residents near the Saint-Nicolas-du-Chardonnet church heard some music coming from inside the place of worship and alerted the police. Police officers were sent to the church, but the doors were shut. As there was nothing amiss, they informed the police station which then ordered them to return. Inside the church, there had been an Easter vigil celebration only with the clerics, which was broadcast live on YouTube for people to watch from their homes.

 

Prominent French media outlets did not hesitate to attack a Catholic community, without clear and undisputable evidence, because it is traditionalist and not mainstream. These are, of course, not valid reasons for accusing a church of imaginary offences. Moreover, as this community poses a challenge to the Roman Catholic Church, it is unsurprising that Catholic media did not establish the truth.

 

These French newspapers:

 

– re-published an AFP press release and a biased article of Le Point, without any investigation or verification
– failed to contact a spokesperson from the Saint-Nicolas-du-Chardonnet church to hear their version of the story
– failed to interview abbot Petrucci, who is in charge of the church
– used stigmatising vocabulary to describe unfounded facts such as: clandestine mass, a church full of participants, incomprehensible indulgence by the police, staggering video, etc.
– circulated a fake video of the Easter vigil mass allegedly held in that church on Easter eve
– ignored and disregarded screen shots posted online by the accused church community which demonstrated that the confinement measures specific to religious celebrations had been respected
– never questioned the authenticity of the said screen shots.

 

In a previous article, Human Rights Without Frontiers (HRWF) denounced the same problematic disregard toward journalistic ethics in a case where an Evangelical community in Mulhouse (France) was scapegoated for the pandemic. See https://hrwf.eu/france-covid-19-scapegoating-an-evangelical-church-in-mulhouse/.

 

 

 

HRWF does not consider the merits of religions or beliefs, nor align itself with any specific religion, theology or worldview. HRWF does not defend any specific religion or belief system, but instead defends the right of a person to have the beliefs of his/her choice as it is guaranteed by Article 18 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and Article 6 of the UN Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief (1981).

 




Covid-19: Une église de la Fraternité de St Pie X à Paris face aux ‘fake news’ et à la stigmatisation

Par Willy Fautré, Human Rights Without Frontiers

 

HRWF (29.05.2020) – L’Église de Saint-Nicolas-du-Chardonnet n’est pas en odeur de sainteté en France et au Vatican. Depuis le 27 février 1977, date de son occupation par la force par des proches de la Fraternité sacerdotale Saint-Pie-X, dont elle dépend officieusement depuis lors, cette église constitue le principal lieu de culte parisien du mouvement catholique traditionnaliste, aussi appelé intégriste. Des arrêtés d’expulsion ont été publiés mais jamais appliqués. La messe y est encore dite en latin et les nouvelles orientations de modernisation adoptées par l’Eglise catholique romaine lors du Concile Vatican II (1962-1965) y sont bannies.

 

Le Covid-19 a offert une occasion idéale à certains médias de discréditer cette église controversée mais leurs méthodes et leurs arguments posent question. Tout a commencé le dimanche de Pâques.

Effet boule de neige et surenchère médiatique

 

Dimanche 12 avril (Pâques), AFP-La Croix/ Covid 19 : une messe pascale clandestine en l’église Saint-Nicolas-du-Chardonnet (https://bit.ly/2ZDwSVT)

 

L’agence de presse AFP, reprise sans commentaire ou vérification, par le quotidien catholique La Croix, annonce sous ce titre: « Une messe pascale clandestine s’est tenue dans la nuit de samedi à dimanche à l’église traditionaliste Saint-Nicolas-du-Chardonnet à Paris, en présence de fidèles, et le prêtre a été verbalisé pour non-respect du confinement. »

 

Selon la dépêche,

 

  • quelques dizaines de personnes auraient participé à une messe dans cette église du 5e arrondissement de Paris, traditionnaliste et continuant à célébrer la messe en latin, malgré Vatican II
  • samedi soir, des riverains auraient alerté la police et les agents auraient entendu de la musique venant de l’église
  • à minuit, une personne serait sortie de l’église et aurait déclaré à la police qu’il y avait une quarantaine de participants à l’intérieur
  • les policiers ont pris contact avec le prêtre, qui aurait été verbalisé, selon une source policière non identifiée
  • la retransmission video sur YouTube montrait une trentaine d’ecclésiastiques et des enfants de chœur, tous sans masque et sans respecter la distanciation sociale
  • l’eucharistie aurait été distribuée de la main à la bouche à une dizaine de participants
  • aucun fidèle n’était présent dans l’église

 

Dimanche 12 avril, Préfecture de police/ Twitter

 

Ce jour-là, le compte Twitter de la Préfecture de police notifiait « cette nuit à #Paris05, un office s’est tenu dans une église malgré les mesures de confinement. Les policiers ont trouvé portes closes au moment du contrôle mais ont verbalisé l’autorité ecclésiastique ayant officié, après la messe ». Où et quand un prêtre aurait été verbalisé n’est pas indiqué dans le tweet.

 

Curieux message : Les célébrations, malgré les mesures de confinement, peuvent tout à fait se tenir dans les églises, à condition que les fidèles ne puissent y assister et donc… que les portes restent closes, ce qui était le cas à Saint-Nicolas-le-Chardonnet. Dans les cathédrales de toute la France, les offices de Pâques y ont été célébrés par les évêques portes fermées. De plus, il n’est pas dans les habitudes de la police française de faire une descente dans une église catholique, un temple protestant, une mosquée ou une synagogue.

 

Dimanche 12 avril, Le Point/ Messe pascale et clandestine (https://bit.ly/2ZGff7R)

 

Le Point reprenait les informations de la dépêche et déclarait en outre qu’une amende de 135 EUR avait été infligée à un prêtre.

 

On peut se demander comment une intervention policière pourrait être possible si les portes étaient fermées et comment la police peut infliger une amende à un prêtre non identifié à l’intérieur d’une église fermée.

 

De plus, Le Point affichait une video de l’intérieur de l’église bondée de fidèles qui était une photo d’archives et non pas la messe soi-disant clandestine du 11 avril au soir. De plus, ça n’était pas non plus une capture d’écran de YouTube.

 

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader charismatique d’un mouvement politique d’extrême-gauche, profitait de son passage à l’émission de RTL-TV de grande écoute « Le Grand Jury » pour crier haro sur les cathos.

 

Deux jours plus tard, Christophe Castaner, le ministre de l’Intérieur, déclarait sur les ondes de France Inter : « J’ai été choqué par la tenue de cette messe. Je trouve irresponsable le prêtre qui l’a organisée ». Grosse erreur d’un ministre désinformé par une fake news mais personne ne le lui a reproché. On peut se poser la question de savoir s’il aurait réagi de la même façon, sans enquête préalable, pour une communauté d’une autre religion.

 

Mardi 14 avril, Le Progrès/ Messe clandestine, les intégristes à l’amende (https://bit.ly/3es37eW)

 

Ce journal ajoutait que lors de l’arrivée de la police, à une heure non indiquée, les portes étaient fermées, les participants s’étaient éclipsés et n’avaient donc pas été verbalisés.

 

Mardi 14 avril, Valeurs Actuelles/ Saint-Nicolas-du-Chardonnet, « fake news » et coronavirus : les médias en pleine crise de mauvaise foi (https://bit.ly/3grxDqN)

 

Le Père Danziec, chroniqueur à Valeurs Actuelles, déclarait que :

 

  • sur le site paroissial de l’église, il était indiqué depuis le début du confinement que les fidèles n’ont plus accès aux offices et qu’ils seraient retransmis sur YouTube
  • cette vigile de Pâques n’était pas « clandestine » mais a été célébrée à 22h30 dans l’église et  retransmise sur YouTube (26,000 vues en date du 14 avril)

 

Mercredi 15 avril, Le Point/ Messe clandestine à Paris : les policiers priés de repartir (https://bit.ly/2M1WzY5)

 

Trois jours plus tard, Le Point revient à la charge avec un article au titre accrocheur « Les policiers priés de repartir », donnant l’impression que les policiers ont été chassés des lieux alors qu’ils n’avaient pas pénétré dans l’église. Dans l’article, il est quand même indiqué qu’ils sont rentrés au poste sur ordre de leur hiérarchie, la préfecture de police, un geste de mansuétude bien incompréhensible à ses yeux. Un gros titre trompeur et avec une intention stigmatisante.

 

Sans preuves, l’auteur de l’article fait d’autres accusations et insinuations, qu’il est le seul à exprimer, renforçant la stigmatisation:

 

  • la présence de fidèles pendant l’office, une contre-vérité puisqu’il n’y en avait pas
  • des déclarations de fidèles faites à la sortie aux policiers, une autre contre-vérité puisque les agents n’ont pas parlé aux participants
  • la mansuétude « inexplicable » à ses yeux de la police à l’égard de ces fidèles inexistants, comme si la hiérarchie de la police était laxiste
  • la préfecture de police affirmant au ministre de l’Intérieur que « les participants avaient quitté l’office par d’autres sorties » et avaient donc échappé à leur vigilance, un fait non avéré et une supposition sans preuve.

 

Plus grave, l’auteur de l’article revenait sur la video affichée sur le site du Point qualifiée de « sidérante », comme preuve de la violation des règles de confinement, alors qu’il savait pertinemment bien que ce n’était pas une video du culte de Pâques.

 

 

Quels sont les faits ?

 

Les vraies images diffusée par l’église de Saint-Nicolas-du-Chardonnet parlent d’elles-mêmes

https://twitter.com/MichelJanva/status/1249449549661450250
https://www.lesalonbeige.fr/une-messe-denoncee-par-des-voisins/

 

De plus, le commentaire indique clairement que l’abbé Petrucci n’a pas été verbalisé.

 

Le samedi soir, des riverains de l’église de Saint-Nicolas-du-Chardonnet ont entendu de la musique et des chants venant de l’intérieur du lieu de culte et ont alerté la police. Des agents se sont présentés mais les portes étaient closes. Comme il n’y avait rien à signaler, ils en ont informé la préfecture, qui les a rappelés. A l’intérieur de l’église avait lieu une célébration de de vigile de Pâques, uniquement avec des membres du clergé et sans fidèles, avec une diffusion en direct sur YouTube. R.A.S.

 

Des médias français très connus n’ont pas hésité à mettre au pilori une communauté catholique, sans preuves claires et solides, parce qu’elle est traditionnaliste et dérangeante. Ce n’est bien sûr pas une raison pour l’accuser de délits imaginaires. En outre, comme elle pose problème à l’Église catholique romaine, il ne fallait pas s’attendre à ce que les médias catholiques établissent les faits réels.

 

Ces médias français

  •  ont reproduit une dépêche AFP et un article biaisé de Le Point, sans enquête et sans vérification
  • n’ont pas contacté un porte-parole de l’église de Saint-Nicolas-du-Chardonnet pour avoir leur version des faits
  • n’ont pas interviewé l’abbé Petrucci
  • ont utilisé un vocabulaire stigmatisant concernant des faits non fondés : messe clandestine, une église bondée de fidèles, mansuétude inexplicable de la police, video sidérante, etc.
  • ont fait circuler une fausse video de la messe de vigile de Pâques dans cette église
  • ont ignoré ou passé sous silence les captures d’écran diffusées par la communauté incriminée prouvant le respect des mesures de confinement lors de célébrations religieuses
  • n’ont jamais mis en doute l’authenticité des dites captures d’écran.

 

Dans un article antérieur, HRWF a souligné le même manque de respect de la déontologie journalistique concernant une communauté évangélique à Mulhouse qui fut traitée en bouc émissaire de la pandémie dans la région du nord-est de la France. Voir https://hrwf.eu/france-covid-19-scapegoating-an-evangelical-church-in-mulhouse/

 

 

 

HRWF ne défend pas des religions ou des philosophies particulières et n’a de position sur aucune théologie spécifique. HRWF défend le droit d’une personne à avoir les croyances de son choix ou de ne pas en avoir et de vivre ce choix tel que le garantissent l’Article 18 de la Déclaration universelle des droits de l’homme (1948) et l’Article 6 de la Déclaration de l’ONU sur l’élimination de toute forme d’intolérance et de discrimination basée sur la religion ou la conviction (1981).

 

 

 

 

 




Blasphemy victim Asia Bibi’s brother-in-law killed in Pakistan’s Sheikhupura

Devdiscourse (26.05.2020) – https://bit.ly/2X3zs5C – Younus, the brother-in-law of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman convicted of blasphemy by a Pakistani court, was killed in Sheikhupura city of Punjab province in Pakistan on Monday. According to the FIR, Younus had gone to his farms on May 24 and did not return home at night. His body with throat slit was traced to the farm the following morning.

 

It is believed that hailing from the minority Christian community, Younus was killed in a rivalry. This is not the first time that somebody associated with Asia Bibi has been murdered in cold blood.

 

In 2011, Salman Taseer, the influential governor of Punjab was assassinated after he made headlines by appealing for the pardon of Asia Bibi, who had been sentenced to death for allegedly insulting Prophet Muhammad. A month after Taseer was killed, Religious Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, a Christian who spoke out against the laws, was shot dead in Islamabad, underlining the threat faced by critics of the law.

 

Asia Bibi is now living in exile after the Supreme Court of Pakistan acquitted her based on insufficient evidence in October 2018. Recounting the hellish conditions of eight years spent on death row on blasphemy charges but also the pain of exile, Asia Bibi recently broke her silence to give her first personal insight into an ordeal that caused international outrage.

 

French journalist Anne-Isabelle Tollet, who has co-written a book about her, was once based in the country where she led a support campaign for her.”You already know my story through the media,” she said in the book. “But you are far from understanding my daily life in prison or my new life,” she said. “I became a prisoner of fanaticism,” she said. In prison, “tears were the only companions in the cell”.

 

She described the horrendous conditions in squalid jails in Pakistan where she was kept chained and jeered at by other detainees. Pakistan’s blasphemy laws carry a potential death sentence for anyone who insults Islam. Critics say they have been used to persecute minority faiths and unfairly target minorities.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan defended the country’s strict blasphemy laws during his election campaigns. The status quo is still in place. No government in Pakistan was ready to make changes to the blasphemy law due to fears of a backlash.




IRAN: A Baha’i citizen, Elaheh Samizadeh, sentenced to an extra year in prison

HRANA (25.05.2020) – https://bit.ly/2WZXaQh – Elaheh Samizadeh, a Baha’i citizen, has been sentenced to one extra year of imprisonment and two years suspension from holding all governmental and public jobs by Branch 105 of Shiraz Criminal Court.

Ms. Samizadeh had previously been sentenced to six years in prison by Branch One of Shiraz Revolutionary Court, presided over by Judge Seyed Mahmoud Sadati, on charges of “propaganda against the regime and membership in opposition groups” Based on the Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, Based on the Article 134 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, the charge with the highest penalty will be considered; this means that Ms. Samizadeh should serve five years in prison. Ms. Samizadeh is the mother of a toddler boy, and charges brought up against her of “propaganda against the regime” and “collaborating” with “dissident “groups” are because she worked as an instructor at “mother-child innovation courses” using her valid college degree obtained from official institutions. Charge of “forging a university degree” was brought up against her in July 2019 and caused her bail to be increased by 60 million Toman. According to the verdict that was communicated to Ms. Samizadeh on May 22, 2020, by Branch 105 of Shiraz Criminal Court presided over by Judge Fakharzadeh, “usage of scientific titles” which refers to her studies at BIHI (Baha’i University) is the underlying reason for her sentence of 1-year imprisonment and 2 years suspension from holding all governmental and public jobs.  An informed source told HRANA: “She is accused of forging her diploma, while Ms. Samizadeh studied at the Baha’i Online University (BIHE) due to the Baha’is’ exclusion from studying at country’s accredited universities. She has also received her degree from this university, and after making bail has been repeatedly summoned and interrogated over this fact.”

Earlier, Shahriar Atrian, Navid Bazmandegan, Bahareh Ghaderi, Nora Purmoradian, Soheila Haghighat, Shahnaz Sabet, and Soodabeh Haghighat, were also charged by Branch 1 of the Shiraz Revolutionary Court, presided over by Judge Seyed Mahmoud Sadati in the same case. The charges against this group include “propaganda against the regime and membership in an opposition group” which caused a 6-year sentence for every member of this group, an 8-year sentence for Niloufar Hakimi, and a 1-year sentence for Ehsanullah Mahboub Rah Vafa. From this group, Ms. Haghighat is also awaiting another trial in the criminal court, and Niloufar Hakimi has previously been sentenced to five years in prison by a criminal court. Taking Ms. Samizadeh’s new convictions into account, she and nine others implicated in this case have been sentenced to a total of 63 years in prison. These citizens were arrested by security forces in September 2018 and were all released on bail impending trial. HARANA reports the second part of Ms. Samizadeh’s case which went into the sentencing phase on May 22, 2020, has added a 1-year conviction to her previously 6-year sentence, and this addition brings up the collective sentencing of this group to a total of 63 years.

Bahai’s of Iran are deprived of all liberties and religious related activities, a systematic deprivation of liberty which goes against Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, that entitle any person to freedom of religion and belief, freedom expression individually or collectively and in a public or private setting. According to unofficial reports, there are more than 300,000 Baha’is in Iran. However, Iran’s constitution only recognizes Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism, and does not recognize the Baha’i faith. And this reason has given the Iranian authorities an excuse to systematically violate the rights of Baha’i citizens over the years.