Christian bookstore accuses Shanxi police of selling confiscated books
Months after Chinese police raided a Christian bookstore in Shanxi province, confiscating thousands of books and arresting two Christian workers, the shop is suing local police for selling the books which they say were important evidence in an ongoing court case.
Ren Lacheng and Li Wenxi, two Christians working for Enyu bookstore in Taiyuan, were sentenced to five and two years jail after they were found guilty of “illegally operating a business” in June. They have both appealed against their sentences.
Enyu bookstore workers later discovered that books carrying their official stamp were being sold in a local market as used books. They ended up buying back a total of 226 books.
Xia Jun, a Beijing-based lawyer representing the Taiyuan bookstore, said police had violated laws by selling the Christian books which they had declared “illegal.” If they had changed their minds and believed they were legal, they should have returned the books instead of selling them, he argued.
All of the books were legally published in China, he said.
Wang Xiaoqing, manager at the bookstore, has submitted an indictment accusing the police of selling the books, Xia said. After a court refused to file the case, Wang submitted her letter again to a higher court last week.
“It’s an international joke that the police are selling court evidence - the books - for money,” Xia said.