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Feng Zhenghu Receives Freedom Award

Chinese Human Rights Lawyer Receives Freedom Award At Tokyo Airport Where He Has Been Stranded Since November 4

Washington DC, January 4, 2010. Beijing Spring, the Chinese pro-democracy magazine based in New York, has selected human rights lawyer, Feng Zhenghu, as the recipient of its annual Freedom Pioneer award. Well-known in China for his passionate defense of citizen’s rights, Feng has been at Terminal 1,

in Tokyo’s Narita Airport, since November 4, when he was forcibly returned by Chinese authorities at Shanghai Airport as he tried to enter China. Feng has vowed to stay at the terminal in Tokyo until the Chinese government allows him to return home.

Dr. Yang Janli, a Harvard Fellow and a 2007 Freedom Pioneer recipient, flew to Japan on Christmas Eve to present the award to Feng. The award recognizes individuals on the forefront of the struggle for Democracy in China. In the hallway of Terminal 1, Dr. Yang and Mr. Feng held interviews with Japanese and Chinese press. Yang and Feng also had an online conference,” Celebrating Christmas with Feng Zhenghu,” through which he received well-wishes from supporters around the globe.

Feng survives on supplies delivered by supporters who fly to Tokyo from countries as far away as Australia. Dr. Yang’s arrival marked the seventh flight organized by Initiatives for China, the Boston based pro- democracy movement headed by Yang. Yang delivered a netbook and other equipment to help Feng keep in contact with the outside world.

Yang and Feng are among thousands of Chinese “blacklisted”citizens who are blocked from returning to China. Chinese authorities use blacklisting to intimidate and to silence citizens who are active in political dissent. This practice is expressly prohibited by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which China is a signatory.

 

During his stay in Tokyo, Dr. Yang discussed the cases of Mr. Feng and also the recently jailed intellectual, Liu Xiaobo, with Mr. Makino Seishu, (shown with Yang in picture on left), a member of the Japanese House of Representatives. Dr. Yang also discussed ongoing support for Feng with Chinese activists. A petition to Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary General, and a request for humanitarian assistance from the International Red Cross are planned.

 

Background Information:
1. A complete brief on the Mr. Feng Situation can be found the Initiatives for China website: www.initiativesforchina.org
2. LA Times article on Feng situation: http://www.latimes.com/news/nation-and-world/la-fg-japan-terminal-man19-2009nov19,0,29937.story

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