Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.A. - Bishop Jia Zhiguo 賈治國, the underground Roman Catholic bishop of the Diocese of Zheng Ding 正定 in Hebei 河北 Province, was arrested again by the public security bureau at approximately 9:30 in the morning (Beijing time) on June 5, 2007. We do not know why the bishop was taken away, nor do we know where he is. As of this press time, which is approximately 12:30 midnight Beijing time 15 hours after his arrest, he has not been released. Unconfirmed sources have reported that, while the bishop was being taken away, in a conversation between the police and the crowd, the police were overheard to say that the bishop would be incarcerated for approximately 10 days.
Bishop Jia is 73 years old and was ordained a bishop in 1980. He was previously in jail for approximately 20 years and has been under strict surveillance for many years by the Chinese authorities. He takes care of approximately 100 handicapped orphans in his house. As far as we know, he has been arrested ten times since January 2004.
Ever since Bishop Jia was released from police custody on September 25, 2006 after being held there for more than 10 months, his pastoral activities were more severely limited by the Chinese authorities than previously. He was not even allowed to step out of the courtyard of his residence, was not allowed to administer the "Last Rites (anointing of the sick)" for his dying parishioners, and was not allowed any visitors. When his uncle, an elderly priest, fell and was severely injured, after numerous requests, the bishop was allowed to briefly visit him only once under strict surveillance of the police.
Joseph Kung, the President of the Cardinal Kung Foundation, said: "I once again urgently call on the Olympic Committee to take note of this arrest of Bishop Jia together with other serious violations of the human rights in China and urge the Committee to cancel the 2008 Olympic Games in China because it is so obvious and transparent that these violations of the human rights in China, as exemplified by the repeated arrest of this peaceful religious prelate, are not in conformity with the principle, spirit and good name of the Olympics."