Release of Rev. John (San-Qiang) Cao from Detainment in China

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This petition is to seek assistance in procuring the immediate release of Rev. Cao San-Qiang from his current detainment by police in Yunnan Province, China.

Rev. Cao is the husband of Jamie Powell, a native of North Carolina. They married in 1988 and have two sons, Benjamin and Amos, who are also US citizens.

Rev. Cao, who holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Hunan Teachers College and a Masters of Divinity from the Alliance Seminary in Nyack, NY, has for the last three years been tirelessly involved in educational projects for impoverished minority groups in the Wa State of Myanmar. He has helped to build and staff 16 schools which serve around 2,000 needy students. He is both welcomed and well-respected for his work among these groups in Myanmar. The work he does is for humanitarian reasons and is in no way regarded as illegal activity.

Rev. Cao and his workers have been crossing the border between China and Myanmar for three years without incident. These informal crossings are commonplace for persons on both sides of this autonomous region. However, on March 5th, Rev. Cao was arrested by the Yunnan Public Security in Menglian County, China, and has been criminally charged by the Chinese for illegal border crossing. The local police have not made good on promises to his family assuring them of his release but have instead charged him and moved his case to the next procuratorate level.

It is feared by Rev. Cao’s family and friends that the Chinese government will impose a harsh prison sentence for this relatively minor incident in order to punish him for his humanitarian activity. It is therefore my earnest request that the U.S. Department of State and other agencies relevant to this type of emergency take action on behalf of Rev. Cao San Qiang to seek his immediate release from Chinese custody and his safe return to the United States.

Re: Cao, San Qiang (John)    DOB: May 3, 19XX

Permanent Resident Card Number: 629 XXX 262 since 0X/0X/1990

Chinese Passport Number: G36312XXX

Issued: XX Jul 2009    Expires: XX July 2019