Arrested China bishop dead and buried in 6 hours

An imprisoned Chinese bishop has died in custody amid suspicion from his supporters.

71 year old Bishop Han Dingxiang spent nearly half his life in prison. He was cremated a mere six hours after his death on Sunday from unknown causes.

The US-based Cardinal Kung Foundation says none of his supporters was aware of any illness until local authorities summoned relatives to his bedside as he was dying in hospital.

Foundation president Joseph Kung asked: "What was the Chinese government afraid of, to cremate Bishop Han only six hours after his death, and at such an early hour at 5 o'clock in the morning?"

Kung urged the Vatican to open an inquest into Han's death.

Han, who was ordained bishop in 1989, was the underground Catholic bishop of Hebei's Yongnian diocese. His longest prison term was 19 years from 1960.


SOURCE

China Catholic bishop dies in custody (Sydney Morning Herald, 12/9/07)

Yongnian's underground bishop dies after two years in solitary confinement (AsiaNews, 11/9/07)

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