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A performer of The Church of Almighty God attempts suicide to avoid deportation to China where she would encounter imprisonment torture and potential death

A well-known performer, Li Yanli, associated with The Church of Almighty God (CAG), attempted suicide at Madrid Barajas Airport on November 3, 2023, rather than facing deportation to China where she would encounter imprisonment, torture, and potential death due to her CAG affiliation. Li Yanli gained international recognition for her role in “Xiaozhen’s Story,” a highly acclaimed CAG film. As a prominent face of the CAG, she is on China’s most-wanted list, and her family faces harassment.

Li Yanli and other CAG refugees attempted to seek asylum in South America but were informed they could not stay in countries with favorable political relations with China. Stranded without visas, they bought tickets allowing a layover in Madrid Barajas Airport, hoping to seek asylum in Spain. However, Spanish airport police attempted to force them on flights to China.

Despite the imminent risks of persecution in China, the police insisted on repatriation. Li Yanli, desperate to avoid the dire consequences awaiting her, attempted suicide on the plane, but the police intervened. She is currently held in the T1 building of Madrid Barajas Airport, facing the threat of repatriation to China.

Li Yanli is not alone in this predicament; another CAG member, Li Guiyuan, is also stranded at Madrid-Barajas Airport. On November 1, police tried to force him on a flight to China, disregarding his pleas for an alternative destination. Despite Li Guiyuan fainting during the ordeal, he remains at risk of repatriation.

While recognizing the challenges faced by airport police in evaluating cases, it is crucial to consider the persecution of CAG members in China. Seeking asylum abroad is deemed a crime by Chinese authorities, resulting in additional penalties upon return. Scholars and courts in democratic countries have debunked objections to granting asylum to CAG members, and the United Nations Committee Against Torture has ruled that CAG members are “at risk of torture” in China.

Li Yanli, Li Guiyuan, and other CAG members at Madrid Barajas Airport urgently require humanitarian assistance. Despite airport police rules, there is an appeal for intervention to prevent the forced repatriation of innocent individuals to potential torture, rape, and death in China.

This post is based on the information of the magazine “Bitter Winter”



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