Congressmen Congratulate Wang Yonghang and Other Chinese Human Rights Lawyers for Awards (Photo)
(Minghui.org) The China Aid Association held a half-day human rights seminar followed by an awards ceremony in the Cannon Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday July 24, 2012, to mark its 10th anniversary. Attorney Wang Yonghang, who entered not guilty pleas for Falun Gong practitioners in China, was among the winners of the Chinese Human Rights Lawyers Association’s “Ten Best Human Rights Defense Lawyers Award.”
Attorney Wang Yonghang
VIPs who attended the ceremony and gave speeches include Rep. Chris Smith, Vice Chairman of House Committee for Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), Rep. Frank Wolf, Chairman of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, Rep. Jim McGovern, Co-Chairman of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, Rep. Joe Pitts, senior member of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), and Dr. Peter Lillback, president of Westminster Seminary and founder of the Providence Forum.
China Aid announced the winners of the Chinese Human Rights Lawyers Association’s “Ten Best Human Rights Defense Lawyers Award.” The award recipients are Gao Zhisheng, Wang Yonghang, Zheng Encheng, Li Subin, Teng Biao, Jiang Tianyong, Liu Wei, Tang Jitian, Li Heping, and Li Xiongbin.
Unfortunately none of the award recipients were able to attend the ceremony. Many of them are imprisoned or under house arrest in China. All of them have been persecuted for defending religious freedom, the rule of law and human rights. However, they stood fast in their professional ethics and conscience, and continued to speak for marginalized groups in China.
Wang Yonghang is an attorney in Dalian who has entered not guilty pleas for Falun Gong practitioners many times. In 2009, Wang was illegally sentenced to seven years by the Chinese Communist Party and he is detained in Shenyang’s No.1 prison.
Wang published seven articles and open letters to China’s highest judicial organs through The Epoch Times. In 2008 he released his open letter to Hu and Wen, pointing out that it is against the law and constitution to accuse Falun Gong practitioners of crimes based on Article 300 of the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China.
He offered legal help to Falun Gong practitioners and on June 16, 2009, he defended a Dalian Falun Gong practitioner, Cong Rixu, entering a “not guilty” plea for him in court. His courageous and righteous act irritated China’s authorities. Subsequently over 20 police secretly took him out of his house to the Dalian Detention Center.
From the beating he received, Wang Yonghang suffered fractures of his right leg, which caused him to be handicapped for life, and he also contracted pseudomonas infections which have remained untreated during his three-years in custody. In prison, he was subjected to force-feeding and torture for attempting to stop other inmates from beating Falun Gong practitioners.
In May 2012, Mr. Wang was said to have been subjected to long-term persecution and torture. Currently, he is in critical condition, suffering from pneumonia, chest congestion and a build up of fluid in tissues around his abdomen. Now paralyzed from the waist down, he is even too weak to speak.
Mr. Wang's case was included in the United Nations' 2010 Annual Report. Amnesty International, Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong, Freedom House and other international human right organizations will continue to pay attention to Mr. Wang's case and pressure the Chinese government for his release.