'At New Year, We Miss Them More Than Ever'

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china-wang-yangfang-jan-2015.JPG Wang Yanfang appeals for the release of her husband and two of his fellow activists in a video, Jan. 1, 2014.

Wang Yanfang, wife of rights lawyer Tang Jingling who is currently under criminal detention on suspicion of subversion in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, appeals to the Chinese government and the international community to help set him and two fellow activists free:

Today is the first day of 2015. My husband Tang Jingling, Wang Qingying, and Yuan Xinning have now been held for more than seven months.

I believe that they are innocent.

Like so many Chinese citizens, they acted out of hope for their country's future, for democracy, for the freedom of humanity, and for the rights of its citizens and the ideals of the Chinese people, in the spirit of United Nations principles of nonviolence.

I have noticed that many rights activists and lawyers have been targeted by the authorities during the past year for enforced travel, house arrest ... and beatings, simply for exercising their rights as citizens or as lawyers.

None of this should have happened.

I call on our friends at home and overseas, the international community, human rights organizations, lawyers [and governments] to pay close attention to the fate of rights lawyers and activists Tang Jingling, Wang Qingying, and Yuan Xinning.

I urge [you] to put pressure on the Chinese government to give them back their freedom as soon as possible.

I and my family call on the government to genuinely implement the rule of law by guaranteeing the rights of citizens and to preserve fairness and justice in our society.

At a time like New Year, when everyone is getting together with family and friends, we miss them more than ever.

We hope that Tang Jingling, Wang Qingying, and Yuan Xinning will regain their freedom, and wish all our friends at home and overseas a Happy New Year.

Translated by Luisetta Mudie.


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