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Chinese Freedom Fighters to Meet at Historical Summit Conference

Chinese Freedom Fighters to Meet at Historical Summit Conference

For Immediate Release

October 26, 1999

Contact Scott Weinberg

(540) 622-5240

WASHINGTON, DC – The leaders of China’s pro-democracy movement will gather for the first time since the Tiananmen Square massacre next month in Washington, DC. The freedom fighters are coming together for a conference with American China experts and policymakers, sponsored by the Population Research Institute (PRI), a human rights research organization headquartered in Front Royal, Virginia.

The conference, titled: Human Rights in China: 50 Years Later, will take place on 19-20 November at the Capital Hilton. Chinese leaders scheduled to speak at the conference include:

  • Wei Jingsheng, Former Political Prisoner, Columbia University (“China’s Prisoners of Conscience”)
  • Wang Juntao, Former Political Prisoner, Columbia University (“China’s Democratization: Strategy and Process”)
  • Shen Tong, Former Political Prisoner, Foundation for the Chinese Academy (“The Meaning of June 4”)
  • Shengde Lian, Former Political Prisoner, Party for Freedom and Democracy, (“Democracy Under Communism”)

Twenty years ago, Wei Jingsheng called upon the Beijing regime to democratize, a “crime” for which he was imprisoned for most of the next two decades.

Wang Juntao, Shen Tong and Shengde Lian were at Tiananmen, where the hopes of a generation for democracy were dashed. All joined Wei for a time in the Laogai, the Chinese equivalent of the Soviet Gulag. Recent efforts by dissidents in China to form an opposition political party have resulted in widespread arrests, although Wang, Shen and Lian continue to organize overseas.

Aside from their ongoing denial of basic political and civil rights to the Chinese people, the Chinese Communist Party routinely violates the rights of women, of minorities, and of religious believers. Party Secretary Jiang Zemin, for example, recently endorsed the continuation of the often-brutal one-child policy. China was recently labeled by the State Department as one of the worst abusers of religious rights worldwide.

According to Steven W. Mosher, President of conference sponsor PRI, “The Western world needs to become more aware of the human rights situation in China. By assembling China’s leading dissidents in one place we hope to foster awareness of this situation, and build support for their efforts to peacefully evolve China into a democratic state which respects human rights.”

To register for the conference, contact Michele Madasz: (540) 622-5252, email: [email protected]. Web site registration: . Limited seating and accommodations are still available.

Steven W. Mosher is available for radio and television interviews in both English and Chinese languages.

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