China Aid Association
(Washington, D.C. –April 15, 2013) Congressman Frank Wolf, a longtime friend of the Chinese people, has sent an open letter to his Congressional colleagues urging them to draw attention to the urgent case of Zhu Yufu, a Christian and dissident whose life is in peril in a Chinese prison.
As the chairman of the Congressional Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, Wolf last year launched the Defending Freedoms project last December, and in January he adopted Chinese Christian human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng as his prisoner of conscience, for whom he would make special appeals. Commission co- chairman Jim McGovern has adopted a Bahraini human rights activist.
Wolfe said in his open letter: “I had the honor of meeting three of his younger siblings…and they described his current situation. Now 60 years old, Mr. Zhu continues to languish in Prison No. 4 of the Zhejiang Province. He is only able to walk by supporting himself on a wall and suffers from several ailments including coronary heart disease, severe high blood pressure and a coronary artery tumor. Despite his fragile condition, prison authorities have still forced him to do hard physical labor. Mr. Zhu has been denied treatment and medication and has not been allowed to make calls or write to his family.”
ChinaAid deeply appreciates what Congressmen Wolf and McGovern have done and earnestly call for more Congressmen to join this initiative. May Zhu Yufu be humanely treated as soon as possible and be released at an early date.
Below is the full text of Congressman Wolf’s letter:
WILL YOU ADOPT ZHU YUFU?
From: The Honorable Frank R. Wolf
In December, the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission launched the Defending Freedoms project, a new initiative led by the commission in conjunction with Amnesty International (AI) and the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). The purpose of this project is to generate attention and support for human rights by encouraging Members of Congress to adopt and advocate on behalf of prisoners of conscience from around the world.
Today, I am writing to request that ONE member adopt Mr. Zhu Yufu, a Chinese Christian and prominent political dissident. Mr. Zhu is a native of Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province and, in 1998 he was one of the founders of the China Democracy Party. He was arrested the following year and sentenced to seven years in prison on the conviction of trying to subvert state power. After being released from prison and becoming a Christian, he was re-arrested and charged in 2011 for publically supporting the “Jasmine Revolution” through the publication of his poem, It is Time.
I had the honor of meeting three of his younger siblings, Mr. Zhu Qiaoufu, Ms. Zhu Xiaoyan and Ms. Zhu Yanmin, today and they described his current situation. Now 60 years old, Mr. Zhu continues to languish in Prison No. 4 of the Zhejiang Province. He is only able to walk by supporting himself on a wall and suffers from several ailments including coronary heart disease, severe high blood pressure and a coronary artery tumor. Despite his fragile condition, prison authorities have still forced him to do hard physical labor. Mr. Zhu has been denied treatment and medication and has not been allowed to make calls or write to his family.
Unfortunately, Mr. Zhu’s story is not unique. Prisoners of conscience around the world are imprisoned, tortured and even killed for expressing their religious or political beliefs. With your adoption of this prisoner, you could contribute to the release or reduction of his prison sentence, or at the very least, raise awareness about the unfair laws and policies in place in China.
Co-chairman Jim McGovern and I have already kicked off this project by adopting the first two prisoners of conscience. Congressman McGovern adopted Nabeel Rajab, a Bahraini human rights activist and I adopted Gao Zhisheng, a prominent Chinese human rights attorney and dissident known for defending activists and religious minorities. I hope you will join us in adopting a prisoner of conscience. I am very excited about this project and hope you are too. It is America’s responsibility to do all that we can to champion the freedom-seeking aspirations of those imprisoned around the world and boldly advocate on their behalf.
WILL YOU ADOPT ZHU YUFU?
If you would like to adopt Mr. Zhu or another prisoner of conscience or would like more information about this initiative, please contact my staff.
FRANK R. WOLF
Member of Congress