Death threats on YouTube.
Living under protective custody.
Protesters outside the family home.
A slander campaign on multiple internet platforms and print propaganda distributed in Midland, Texas, where the Fu family lives and operates ChinaAid.
Pastor Xiqiu "Bob" Fu is fighting back. Friday, he filed a lawsuit in federal court against Guo Wengui, also known as Miles Kwok.
Chinese activist, author and Christian leader Fu has been under attack since Sept. 27, when protesters arrived outside his home and began daily picketing and protesting. Threatening videos have been posted on YouTube—and more.
The attacks accuse Fu of being a communist and a spy for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
"These statements are utterly and entirely false," said Fu in a formal letter he sent to Guo Nov. 3 demanding the "campaign of character assassination and defamation" cease. "My life in the United States has been devoted to Christian ministry and the cause of freedom and human dignity. Consistent with my long-held Christian faith and my duties as a husband and as a father to three children, I have never committed the vile acts of which you accuse me."
Fu said Guo has not responded to the letter.
The lawsuit is the next step. It claims that Guo, the billionaire owner of Beijing Zenith Holdings, unlawfully targeted Fu through:
- Invasion of privacy.
- "Terroristic threats."
- Inciting followers to kill him.
Guo is orchestrating a "multifaceted campaign of character assassination" to silence Fu and his longstanding work to promote religious freedom and human rights within China, according to the suit.
Fu has testified 13 times before Congressional committees on human rights violations in China.
Fu said he believes Guo is not an anti-CCP dissident as he claims, but is hunting true dissidents on behalf of the CCP.
"It's no coincidence," Fu said, "that official Chinese propaganda outlets (including the Global Times) are attacking the same Chinese dissidents in the United States as Guo."
"Although claiming to support the Chinese pro-democracy movement, Guo employs his vast legal, financial and corporate resources, together with his robust social media presence, to systematically target pro-democracy and pro-religious freedom activists in the Chinese American community," the lawsuit says. "Since 2018, Guo has attacked Chinese human rights activists and bona fide CCP dissidents in the United States. This year, Plaintiff Bob Fu became Guo's latest target."
A Sample of Online Warfare
On gnews.org, owned by Guo, there is information about Fu headlined "About Bob Fu—A Fake Pastor." The page goes on to accuse of human trafficking, shows a photo of the ChinaAid offices and lists its address, contact information and financial information.
Fu is the president and founder of ChinaAid, an organization that exposes abuses and provides support for people persecuted by the Chinese government. ChinaAid promotes religious freedom, human rights and rule of law. Fu was a key democracy activist at the Tiananmen Square protests. He became a Christian and started an underground church in China. In 1996, he and his wife were imprisoned for their activities. Released two months later, they escaped to Hong Kong and then came to the United States.
Guo began the public attacks and threats through a series of videos posted on his GTV and GNews websites, in addition to Twitter and YouTube. The attacks have become more aggressive in recent weeks, according to The Lanier Law Firm of Houston, Texas, which is representing Fu.
The protests and threats have drawn the attention of local, state and federal law enforcement. Public officials like Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz and Midland Mayor Patrick Payton have spoken out in Fu's defense.
"Dr. Fu is an internationally recognized spokesperson for Christian ministry and religious freedom, and this abuse of his reputation and encouragement of violence against him must stop," said Fu's attorney, Lawrence Wilson. "His decades of dedicated promotion of human rights and democracy in his homeland and around the world must not be subjected to these assaults. This lawsuit will now shine a bright light on the actions and motivations of Mr. Guo."
The lawsuit cites a series of claims against Guo, his media companies and associated individuals.
Guo made international news recently as the owner of a $35 million yacht on which the FBI conducted an early-morning raid and arrested well-known political strategist Stephen Bannon. In addition, Guo's media outlets have been used as platforms to spread a broad range of misinformation, including conspiracy theories about the origin of the coronavirus and accusations against Hunter Biden, son of former Vice President Joe Biden.
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