November 23, 2009
WASHINGTON, D.C.–After learning of Jiang Tianyong’s arrest, the brutal treatment of his wife, and the interrogation of their 7-year-old daughter upon Jiang’s return to China last week, Congressman Chris Smith, NJ-4th, Congressman Frank Wolf, VA-10th, and many others U.S. leaders were outraged. Attorney Jiang Tianyong testified before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission scarcely two weeks ago on human rights abuses and his work defending victims of China’s brutal One-Child Policy. Anticipating repression upon his return, Congressman Frank Wolf warned the TLHRC hearing on October 29, “If any of them are arrested or harrassed when they get back, I will do everything I can to just create the biggest problem possible for the Obama Administration and for the Chinese government.” Hear Congressman Wolf’s remarks on 10/29.
To follow through with their commitment to protecting witnesses that appear before the U.S. Congress, Congressman Smith organized an emergency press conference, held at 11:30 AM (EST) in Room 2456 of the Rayburn Building on Monday, Nov. 23, to address the abuse of Jiang Tianyong, and speak out on President Obama’s inadequate address of human rights concerns while visiting China. See the original press invitation.
The honored speakers addressed a variety of human rights concerns in China, ranging from internet freedom to women’s rights. Congressman Frank Wolf of Virginia, Co-Chairman of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission and Michael Horowitz of the Hudson Institute shared their passions on the freedom of belief and expression, with particular concern given to open internet communication. Reggie LittleJohn, One-Child Policy expert and President of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, spoke on the dire issue of forced abortion and forced sterilization in China–an issue on which Jiang Tianyong testified specifically on November 10. Read Jiang’s testimony on One Child Policy before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission.
Chinese human rights political activists and former prisoners–Wei Jingsheng of the Wei JingSheng Foundation and Harry Wu, President of the Laogai Research Institute–raised further concerns over President Obama’s failure to take a direct and firm approach to human rights talks while visiting in China. Director of Advocacy Jennifer McCloy represented ChinaAid, which hosted Jiang and five other legal defenders during their tour in the US exposing human rights abuses by the Chinese government.
Congressman Chris Smith urged President Obama to redeem his new found partnership with President Hu Jintao: “If you’re going to partner with an egregious human rights abuser, you get tainted. Hopefully.. the President will pivot and realize the folly of his current trajectory and speak out.. and say ‘Mr. Hu Jintao, cease your persecution of this man!’ [pointing at photo of Jiang Tianyong], and then take these next steps to include all these human rights defenders…”
In particular regard to Jiang Tianyong, Congressman Smith was adamant in his remand, “The President should pick up that phone, or our Ambassador, and they should talk to Hu Jintao… our Ambassador should be at his [Jiang’s] apartment today.” Read Congressman Smith’s full speech, and hear his remarks in this exclusive press conference footage from ChinaAid and VOCN.TV:
Update on Jiang’s Family:
On Thursday evening, Nov. 19, Jiang Tianyong’s wife, Jin Bianling, reported their daughter was questioned for over two hours by one male and one female PSB officer at school. Jiang’s 7-year-old daughter was visibly shaken and very scared as they police questioned her about how her dad allegedly beat police. In speaking with ChinaAid President Bob Fu on Monday, Nov. 23, Jiang Tianyong informed him that an additional guard had been stationed at his apartment building to watch him and his family over the weekend. His internet and e-mail accounts were also hacked, his passwords “changed without his permission” at 1:00 AM, Nov. 24 (Beijing Time).
Jiang Tianyong further welcomes media and friends to come visit him in his community, at No. 30 Bei Fenguo Road, Haidian District, Beijing, on the northeast corner. He requested that visitors do not e-mail him in advance, due to the recent ‘adjustments’ to his accounts.
ChinaAid thanks Congressman Smith and Congressman Wolf, and the others who spoke in the press conference, for taking a firm stance in defense of human rights. We urge President Obama and other leaders of the free world to speak out on these abuses, and we echo Congressman Smith’s call to the Chinese authorities to “Cease the persecution!” of Jiang Tianyong, and all human rights defenders in China.
For more information on Jiang Tianyong’s detention and police harassment of his wife and daughter, see the ChinaAid article from 11/19/2009.
Read Jiang’s Testimony to the TLHRC on the treatment of human rights lawyers from 10/29.
Read Jiang’s Testimony to the TLHRC on One-Child Policy and defending Chen Guangcheng from 11/10.