HONG KONG�The daughter of a Chinese army doctor who exposed the extent of the SARS cover-up and called for a reassessment of the official Tiananmen verdict has hit out against his "disappearance," RFA�s Mandarin service reports.

In an open letter addressed to her father on Father�s Day, Jiang Yanyong, U.S.-based Jiang Rui praised his honesty, courage, and spirit of responsibility. She said she was "shocked, angry, upset, and heartbroken" over her father�s secret detention, which began June 1 as her parents were on their way to apply for visas to visit her in the United States.

Jiang�s wife Hua Zhongwei, who was detained at the same time, has since been released. But she was unable to say what had happened to her husband.

"He�s not back yet," she told RFA�s Mandarin service. "I�m sorry, I just don�t know [when or if he will be released]."

Jiang Rui lashed out at the Chinese authorities for their treatment of her father.

"Why is there an authority in this world that must separate an elderly man in his 70s from his family? It can�t be because you merely told the truth. I really cannot understand this," Jiang said in her letter, published in Hong Kong�s Apple Daily newspaper Sunday.

In an interview with RFA�s Mandarin service, Jiang said: "He�s been to the United States many times before but never run into this sort of trouble."

"I wrote all my feelings in the letter. I don�t really want to speak about them, because it makes me too sad. If things had gone according to our plans, then they would already be here in the States, with us," she said.

"I do have hope still. I cling onto hope, but there�s no end in sight. I just don�t know when," Jiang said.

In her letter to Jiang Yanyong, which was faxed to her mother in an attempt to reach her father, she said, "This year you also wrote the nation�s leaders conveying what many people really want to say in their hearts"�an apparent reference to her father�s remarks on the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown.

He called in a Feb. 24 letter for the protest to be "reappraised as a patriotic movement."

Observers say the authorities fear that if Jiang Yanyong, a hero to many Chinese for exposing the government�s SARS cover-up, isn�t silenced, others might dare to speak up on the student-led Tiananmen Square protests, which were crushed by the army on June 4, 1989. #####


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