By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent
BEIJING, CHINA (Worthy News)– A high profile house church Christian in Shanghai who has been continually targeted for government harassment was just handed an extra-judicial sentence to a forced labor camp.
Mao Hengfeng was sentenced to 18 months of "re-education through labor" for "disrupting public order," the third such sentence for the 50 year-old Mao, who is in poor health with high blood pressure.
Labor camp sentences were also handed down to others who joined Hengfeng in seeking redress from the Communist government; recently many petitioners have disappeared into official custody, been criminally detained or had their freedom of movement curtailed in the days leading up to the November 8 opening of the 18th Party Congress.
ChinaAid President Bob Fu expressed grave concern for these political detainees as well as others who suffered human rights abuses at the hands of the Chinese government as it prepares for its Party Congress. Fu called upon the international community to seize the opportunity presented by this latest Party Congress and bring about reforms that will protect human rights, the rule of law and freedom of religion.
As for Hengfeng, she has stood out among the thousands of other Shanghai petitioners: her high profile has made Hengfeng the target of municipal, district and local governments.
Beginning in 2003, Hengfeng was placed under judicial detention for "disrupting court order"; one year later she was sentenced to 18 months of "re-education through labor" for "disrupting public order". In January 2007 she was sentenced to two years for damaging property and two years later was placed under administrative detention for "disturbing order in a public place".
In 2010, Hengfeng was again sentenced to another 18 months of re-education for "disrupting public order," but was released early due to acute hypertension.