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Jiang Yanyong Refused U.S. Visit

June 11, 2004

For Immediate Release

Human Rights in China (HRIC) has learned that Dr. Jiang Yanyong, who gained respect inside and outside of China for exposing China’s SARS crisis and calling for an official reassessment of the 1989 Democracy Movement, has been refused permission to leave China to visit his daughter.

Jiang Yanyong’s daughter, Jiang Rui, and her husband, Liao Kang, live in the U.S., and in the past Dr. Jiang and his wife have visited them almost every year. A source close to Dr. Jiang’s family told HRIC that on June 4th one of the Jiangs’ children in China received a note from their mother, Hua Zhongwei, saying they were unable to confirm their travel plans because they were still awaiting permission from above. On June 10 Jiang’s son, who like Dr. Jiang works at the People’s Liberation Army No. 301 Hospital, received a note from Hua Zhongwei saying that they would not be allowed to visit the U.S., and asking him to cancel their plane tickets, which they had already booked.

Jiang and Hua have been missing since they left home on the morning of June 1 on their way to the No. 301 Hospital. Up to the present their friends and family have been unable to determine their exact whereabouts. When family members made inquiries with the hospital, they were only given vague reassurances that Jiang and Hua were “very safe.” The only news the Jiangs’ children have received is through the two notes from their mother. The children and other knowledgeable observers suspect that Jiang and Hua have been unlawfully detained as a means of preventing reporters from contacting Jiang, and also to bully him into abandoning his recent outspokenness, in particular regarding the events of 1989.

“We deplore the unlawful detention of Jiang Yanyong and Hua Zhongwei, and the completely unwarranted restrictions on their freedom of movement,” said HRIC president Liu Qing. “Dr. Jiang is a widely respected figure in China and overseas, and his recent disappearance has already raised considerable concern in the international community. The Chinese government cannot hope for any improvements in its international reputation if it continues to oppress people such as Dr. Jiang who have consistently taken courageous stands to promote the welfare of their fellow citizens.”

For more information, contact:
Stacy Mosher (English) 212-268-9074
Liu Qing (Chinese) 212-239-4495