For Immediate Release
On July 17, 2002, Li Xiaorong, an academic and human rights activist, was denied a visa to China to attend her mother’s funeral. After Li’s mother passed away on July 13, she, her husband and their two children applied for visas at the PRC Embassy in Washington DC to visit Li’s home country. The PRC Embassy official rejected their visas and refused to provide any explanation. After many attempts to obtain a visa, the US State Department informed Li on August 5, 2002 that there had been no progress since July 17.
Li Xiaorong, a naturalized US citizen who came to the United States to study in 1987, received her PhD from Stanford University, and is now a researcher at University of Maryland’s Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy. She is one of the founding members of Human Rights In China (HRIC), which was created in 1989. Li is also a HRIC board member and the editor of HRIC’s website journal Ren Yu Ren Quan. In April 1998, Li tried to visit her parents, who were not well. When she arrived at her parents’ home, the police immediately detained her without an explanation or proper documents. Escorted by police, Li was sent to Chengdu in Sichuan Province, and then to Hong Kong to return to the United States. The police did not allow Li to contact the US Embassy, as she had requested.
HRIC strongly protests the Chinese government’s refusal to permit Li Xiaorong and her family to return to China and to properly mourn the death of her mother. HRIC calls on the Chinese government to immediately approve Li and her family’s visas to allow them to attend her mother’s funeral. HRIC will bring this case to the attention of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.
For more information, contact:
Xiao Qiang (English) 212-239-4495
Liu Qing (Chinese) 212-239-4495