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Imprisoned in China:  Pastor John Cao's Appeal Hearing Delayed for Fourth Time as His Health Deteriorates

01-26-2019
Rev. John Sanqiang Cao breaks a ground on a new school in Wa State, Myanmar. The prominent Chinese pastor who has been detained by Chinese authorities since March 5, 2017 was sentenced in March 2018 to seven years in prison. (AP Photo)
Rev. John Sanqiang Cao breaks a ground on a new school in Wa State, Myanmar. The prominent Chinese pastor who has been detained by Chinese authorities since March 5, 2017 was sentenced in March 2018 to seven years in prison. (AP Photo)

Pastor John Cao, a US permanent resident from Greensboro, North Carolina, has been incarcerated in a Chinese prison for almost two years after being convicted and sentenced by a Chinese court without any evidence against him. Now comes word that the trial court has postponed Cao's appeal hearing for the fourth time and the pastor's health is failing. 
 
According to the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), the postponement violates Cao's right to due process, a fair trial and equal treatment under the law.
 
As CBN News reported, last March Cao was sentenced to seven years in prison for "organizing others to illegally cross the border" — a crime more commonly applied to human traffickers. 
 
Cao and a fellow Christian teacher were arrested after coming back into China from neighboring Myanmar. They had been volunteering to teach at 16 schools in northern Myanmar which serve more than 2,000 students. Cao had been ferrying back and forth across a river which divides the countries for more than three years without any problems from either government.
 
While being held for a year followng his arrest, Cao was sentenced to seven years in prison by a Chinese court, despite a lack of evidence. The prosecutor only submitted written witness testimonies, and the pastor was denied the opportunity to cross examine witnesses or to provide rebuttal evidence, according to the ACLJ
 
Cao appealed his trial and conviction; however, he's still waiting for his day in court. According to Chinese Criminal Procedural Laws, the appellate process shall be no longer than 2 months. But the pastor has been waiting for nine months. 
 
Cao has lost more than 50 pounds and is experiencing several health issues. He is forbidden to have any visitors other than his attorneys.

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