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China: Christianity

Volume 492: debated on Wednesday 20 May 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Chinese government on the detention of two Chinese Christians, Alimiyiang Yimih and Wusiman Yiming; and if he will make a statement. (276434)

The case of Alimjan Himit (who we believe is also known as Alimujiang Yimiti) was raised at the UK-China Human Rights Dialogue in January as part of an individual case list. We urged the Chinese to consider freeing Alimjan, and to ensure he had access to a defence lawyer. The Chinese responded that Alimjan was detained in Kashgar Detention Centre, and that his physical conditions were normal and he enjoyed the rights to family visits and to hire a defence lawyer according to law.

The case of Osman Imin (known as Wusiman Yiming in Chinese documentation) was also raised at our bilateral Human Rights Dialogue in January as part of the case list. We asked for information on the nature of the charges brought against Osman, information on where he is being held and his expected release date. To date we have not yet had a response.

We will continue to monitor both of these cases and raise them wherever appropriate. We will also continue to raise broader issues of religious freedom and to urge the Chinese Government to ratify the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights.