Wang Bingzhang tortured
Wang Bingzhang tortured;
Falun Gong practitioner shot;
Wang Wanxing incarcerated;
Jiang Yanyong missing
Current situations in China's opposition movement
June 29, 2004 (CSN) -- What are they doing to China's political opposition movement? Current conditions reveal that China's brutal regime will spare no expense, leave no stone unturned, and will go the extra mile to conduct what are arguably acts of terrorism against its peaceful resistance movement. Today's news includes some from South Africa -- a Falun Gong practitioner shot, and not by accident. The resistance sees or suspects the hand of the PRC in Monday's shooting.
This cause is one with its longstanding concerns, including policy differences or recommendations for Washington, DC and for the other Western governments. Those differences are coming to be common knowledge, as dissenting reports have been published by organs of Washington, such as the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, and the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. As the latter commission said, "U.S. policies in these areas are in need of urgent attention and course corrections." Those matters of urgent concern continue to dangle, and those course corrections have not been made.
Even while the policy issues must be taken up, this cause is beset by urgent concerns of a more immediately impactful kind -- humanitarian cases. The headline above, from the China Support Network, suggests that members of this resistance community are "tortured, shot, incarcerated, missing." The report under your hands now takes a look around this cause, because these four cases are now driving much of the concern and the response in this community.
Undisputably, Wang Bingzhang is the highly esteemed father figure to the overseas Chinese democracy movement. He was in the West from the time of the Democracy Wall late in the 1970s. He established a magazine and his writings inspired, among others, the students of 1989's Tiananmen Square movement. In 2002, he came to be in Chinese custody in a most peculiar way, with a highly-contentious kidnapping case. "The PRC kidnapped him out of Vietnam," is the short version of the story as is maintained by the Chinese pro-democracy movement. The Chinese government at first denied holding him, then six months later reversed itself and admitted that it had him for the second half of 2002. Soon, word came that the PRC was sentencing Dr. Wang, a U.S. permanent resident / national, to life in prison.
Word is now out about Wang Bingzhang's condition in jail, and that in late January, he suffered a severe stroke that left him hospitalized for over a month -- and, we are only learning this now. In the past five months, Chinese authorities were assuring the world that Dr. Wang was in good health. Within the one case of Dr. Wang Bingzhang, this is the second time that observers can feel lied to, for months on end. "This case goes to nearly prove, conclusively, that we should have no confidence in the veracity of official statements from China's non-democratic government," said John Kusumi, Executive Director of the China Support Network (CSN).
The news of mistreatment, and of a stroke for Dr. Wang Bingzhang, brought angry condemnation from the Free China Movement, a hardline organization that advocates Chinese revolution without advocating violence. Their statement included a section based on a family visit, of Dr. Wang's sister Mei, that just took place in Guangdong province.
Since mid January, the prison where Dr. Wang is held has been punishing Dr. Wang for disobedience. To protest this unlawful treatment, Dr. Wang started a hunger strike. On January 24, he passed out unconscious. Next, he suffered a severe stroke and was hospitalized for more than a month.
Currently, he is still not fully recovered. His movement is very slow and badly coordinated, and he appears very weak.
He told Mei that he also suffers from a very serious phlebitis. He is concerned that thrombus can develop anytime and lead to another stroke. In addition, he feels liver pain nowadays. He is concerned that his hepatitis (type Bulrush, a very severe type) will happen again. He had this illness twenty years ago. Dr. Wang told Mei that, as a doctor himself, he knows that his life is in danger.
The FCM statement also made note of the solitary confinement that has served as his prison condition throughout this time. FCM called for "Dr. Wang's immediate release to America for urgently-needed treatment of his serious illness before it's too late." FCM also called on the U.S. government "to intervene in the torture of Dr. Wang which is in violation of international laws and to push on the immediate release" of Dr. Wang.
Anger was evident in the statement of Wang Xizhe, President of the Free China Movement, in a press release issued by the Movement. "We are very angry at the Chinese communist government's shameful torture against Dr. Wang in order to defeat his will against the totalitarian regime in Beijing. It's a big mistake the PRC is making before its final death in Chinese history," he said. He went on to assert that a "third republic revolution," as advocated by FCM, will follow Dr. Wang's leadership and "will work harder together to end this regime as soon as possible!"
National Director of the Free China Movement, Dr. Wang Zhongxiao, showed awareness that Dr. Wang's (mis)treatment can change the dynamic in the movement to free China. His statement was oblique but ominous, cautioning of consequences should "anything happen to Dr. Wang." He restated FCM's calls to the Chinese and American governments, saying, "We call for the immediate release of Dr. Wang from the torture chamber of a Chinese jail. We strongly ask the U.S. government to do whatever it can to assure Dr. Wang's safe and immediate return to USA."
Falun Gong practitioner shot (David Liang)
The Falun Dafa Information Center (FDI) reported "the drive-by shooting of a Falun Gong practitioner in South Africa on Monday," an incident which seems to take Falun Gong persecution to a whole new level. In their account, as David Liang was driving from an airport in South Africa Monday evening, a white car "overtook them and fired at least five shots into the vehicle. Liang was hospitalized with bullet wounds and his car was disabled in the incident." As FDI noted,
Two Chinese government officials heavily implicated in the persecution of Falun Gong in China are currently visiting South Africa. Vice president Zeng Qinghong and Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai both have had legal cases submitted against them, the latter earlier this year in the United States and Poland. The charges: torture, genocide and crimes against humanity. (news)
Liang and eight other Falun Gong practitioners from Australia arrived in South Africa to assist locals in revealing the nature of the persecution of Falun Gong in general, and the heinous actions of the two visiting officials in particular. They intended to hold a press conference to expose the crimes of the two officials and to have legal papers served against them.
FDI noted that in committing this crime, the assailant vehicle did not stop upon shooting Liang and disabling his vehicle.
Liang is of Chinese origin, was the only one shot, and was the only one in the car wearing a jacket with the words "Falun Dafa." These facts, and others that are sure to emerge, point to this conclusion: the shooting was a premeditated action specifically targeting Falun Gong during the two officials? visit.
Zeng, Bo, and other high officials have given orders in China that have resulted in torture and death. During the nearly five years of persecution against Falun Gong, harassment, interference with basic rights, death threats, beatings, break-ins, and now an assault with guns have targeted practitioners of Falun Gong outside China, on foreign soil. (special report)
Hiring someone to kill others due to belief or association is the act of terrorists, and this is what we believe has happened in South Africa at the behest of Chinese officials.
FDI urged the authorities of South Africa to thoroughly and carefully investigate this incident and to uncover the people behind this reprehensible act. "We further urge all governments to condemn the actions of the Chinese authorities in persecuting Falun Gong inside China, as well as outside China," they said.
The wife of Wang Wanxing has missed her husband for 12 years. Wang Wanxing is emblematic of the PRC 's 'political misuse of psychiatry.' "For the grave abuse of the wrongful incarceration of political and religious dissidents in mental institutions, China rivals the [former] Soviet Union," noted John Kusumi of the China Support Network. "Wang Wanxing is like the poster boy for this shameful practice," he added. This is "a common practice of the Chinese government nowadays in an effort to silence the dissidents," said the Wei Jingsheng Foundation in a statement.
In a recent agreement with the World Psychiatric Association (WPA), the Chinese Society of Psychiatrists (CSP) itself admitted to a "pattern of misdiagnosis and mistreatment." The CSP attributed such mistreatment to "the failure of some Chinese psychiatric colleagues to distinguish between cultural beliefs and delusions" and to insufficient education and training. It appears that the WPA is accepting these admissions from China in lieu of a full investigation, as it had threatened to conduct into Chinese abuses of psychiatry. This watered-down arrangement does not satisfy Falun Gong defenders like China Mental Health Watch, who would keep the Chinese government on the hook for state-sponsored, systemic persecution through the abuse of psychiatry.
The case of Wang Wanxing is of political, or "June 4" related, persecution, not Falun Gong persecution. Mrs. Wang, Wang Junying, recently visited the offices of the Wei Jingsheng Foundation to raise international awareness and attention for her husband's case, and to promote efforts that push for his early release.
Because this was her first visit to the U.S. and to Washington, DC, for many Westerners this is the first time to learn of his case. She appealed to the international community for its attention and support in her husband's case. Hers is yet another saga that spans the course of the fifteen years since the Tiananmen massacre of June 4, 1989. She urged government and non-government organizations to "put effort to try to visit my husband in China and thus to give him a fair and honest evaluation so he could be released early." She also appealed to the U.S. State Department, Senate and House of Representatives, among others, to work for his release from the mental institution. "I wish soon he will be reunited with our daughter and me and enjoy a normal family life," she concluded.
The full text of her appeal letter for his case has been placed at http://www.chinasupport.net/topbuzz85.htm. Those reading the story will see familiar names, if they have followed or been part of China's pro-democracy / post-Tiananmen saga.
A common thread connects the prior story with this one. Twelve years ago, Wang Wanxing was the man appealing for the Chinese government to reassess June 4, 1989, and to reverse its verdict. That act of political speech is what led to the twelve-year incarceration in a mental institution, China's Ankang prison. Now, in 2004, the case of Jiang Yanyong is a cause celebre, for exactly the same reason. It was Dr. Jiang last year who shot to international fame because he blew the whistle on China's SARS epidemic. His release of the truth forced the government to admit that it had under-reported the numbers of infections in Beijing, and brought about some brief support for the news media of China to more accurately report the numbers of infections.
He became "Man of the Year" for Time / Asia. This year, as a physician who remembers treating the gunshot victims of Tiananmen's massacre, he made an appeal similar to that of Wang Wanxing -- for the Chinese government to reassess June 4, 1989, and to reverse its verdict. (His appeal may be unique, for having that perspective of a medic on the case of victims. The full text of the Dr. Jiang Yanyong appeal is here.)
For his appeal, he became a hero of the Chinese pro-democracy cause. (He was praised in an article by Tiananmen leaders Wuer Kaixi and Shen Tong. That article is here.)
Prior to this year's 15th anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre -- June 4, 2004 -- Chinese authorities conducted a sweep, rounding up many well known dissidents and activists. The sweep was conducted entirely to avoid commemorations of the Tiananmen anniversary. Dr. Jiang Yanyong was one of those taken into custody.
Dr. Jiang was last seen leaving his home on June 1, at 9:00a.m., to go to Military Hospital No. 301, where he was employed as a surgeon. He was supposed to go to the American embassy that day, to pick up a visa to visit his daughter in California. He never arrived at the embassy. Dr. Jiang was with his wife, Hua Zhongwei, who was also taken into custody.
Children of Dr. Jiang in China, on June 4 and again on June 10, received notes from their mother. The note of June 10 said that they would not be able to visit the U.S., and to cancel related plane tickets. After two weeks, their mother was released, but Dr. Jiang has remained incarcerated. It is believed that authorities are trying to coerce his remorse or retraction for his now-famous appeal, to redress the June 4 massacre of 1989. Human Rights In China (HRIC) said that another reason for his detention is to prevent his availability for media reporters.
Liu Qing, the President of HRIC, said, "We deplore the unlawful detention of Jiang Yanyong and Hua Zhongwei, and the completely unwarranted restrictions on their freedom of movement. Dr. Jiang is a widely respected figure in China and overseas, and his recent disappearance has already raised considerable concern in the international community. The Chinese government cannot hope for any improvements in its international reputation if it continues to oppress" Dr. Jiang.
Published by the China Support Network (CSN). Begun as the American response group in 1989, CSN represents Americans who are "on the side" of the students in Tiananmen Square -- standing for democratic reform, human rights, and freedom in China. For dissident news; to support a stronger China policy; or get more information, see http://www.chinasupport.net.