China Aid Association
Photos: From left, Wang Bingzhang; Ti-Anna meets with Congressman Christopher Smith (R-NJ) about her father’s case; Chinese calligraphy by Wang Bingzhang
(GUANGDONG — February 2, 2009) Christian democracy activist, Wang Bingzhang, is enduring his seventh year in prison in solitary confinement, and his family reports that he is deteriorating physically and mentally. His daughter, Ti-anna Wang, wrote the letter below appealing to the international community to speak out on her father’s behalf. ChinaAid urges supporters to visit the family’s website at www.wangbingzhang.com for information about sending letters to Wang Bingzhang in prison, advocating on his behalf and praying for their family.
The following is the letter Ti-anna Wang sent to ChinaAid:
Widely regarded as the founding father of the Chinese pro-democracy movement abroad, my father, Wang Bingzhang, was a medical doctor who went to Canada for graduate studies at McGill University. He was among the first students sent abroad to study after the Cultural Revolution and became the first person from the People’s Republic of China to receive a PhD from a western university.
Upon graduation, my father decided to give up a promising career in medicine to devote his life to Chinese pro-democracy activism. He then moved to New York where he founded China Spring magazine and co-founded several of the first overseas Chinese democratic parties. My father spent the next 20 years of his life organizing and promoting pro-democracy activities in North America and around the world.
The Chinese Communist Party’s concern about his activities eventually led to his arrest. In June 2002, while traveling in Vietnam with fellow activists, my father was kidnapped and brought to China. He was then arrested and falsely charged with espionage and terrorism. In a trial that lasted a day where no evidence or witnesses were presented, my father was convicted and sentenced to life-imprisonment in solitary confinement.
His sentence is the harshest levied on a political prisoner since 1989. Since his imprisonment, my father has gained the support of the American and Canadian governments. The United Nations and Amnesty International have also intervened on his behalf. Despite these efforts from his family, my father continues to languish in prison where he has developed several serious medical conditions that make his family fearful for his life. He suffers from phlebitis, severe hay fever, gastritis, varicose veins and depression. He has also had three major strokes. My father is now serving his seventh year in prison.
My father is permitted one family visit per month, each session lasting only half an hour. Our family must make the trip from North America to China for these monthly visits, during which glass panels and bars separate my father and my family. We must communicate using a phone under the surveillance of several prison guards. In addition to meeting once a month, my father and my family communicate by exchanging monthly letters.
My father has always loved Chinese calligraphy, and since his imprisonment he has developed an interest in etymology. He spends many hours in his prison cell practicing his art and studying Chinese characters. A devout Christian, my father especially enjoys writing Bible verses as well as popular Chinese proverbs in different styles. He used to send them to my family as birthday presents until the prison officials decided stopped him from sharing his writings with us.
Please help me secure my father’s freedom by taking action by writing to Congress. Visit www.wangbingzhang.com to read more about his case. Keep my father in your prayers and share his story with family and friends.
Daughter of Dr. Wang Bingzhang
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