Thursday, October 16, 2008

Yang Jianli

Yang Jianli is a dissident with .

Yang, a in 1989, came to the United States, earned two s , and then founded the . Given his political activism, he was blacklisted by the government of the People's Republic of China, who also refused to renew his passport.

Yang returned to China in April 2002 on a friend's passport to view labor unrest in . He was detained when trying to board an internal flight. Although Freedom Now typically would not take up an illegal entry case, since his initial detention, Yang has been held incommunicado by the Chinese in violation of their own and international law. His wife and children as well as his extended family were denied access to Yang and were justifiably concerned for his health and safety while he languished in prison.

On May 13, 2004, the announced a guilty verdict and sentenced Yang to five years in prison for espionage and illegal entry.

On April 27, 2007, Yang was released from Chinese prison, but was not allowed to leave China. On August 19, 2007, he was finally allowed to return to the United States.

Reminded of his experience with the June 4, Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 for freedom of speech and democracy, Jianli's recent article in the Washington Post shortly after his return to United States reflects his vivid observation of the spiritually coined as Saffron Revolution, including China's 'parasitic relationship with Burma' and the genuine will of freedom loving intellectuals around the world condemning the current brutal oppressions in Burma.

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