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Zeng Jingyan:Appreciation Remarks

(June 24, 2006)At the beginning of the twenty-second year of my life and the first summer after my marriage, I learned that I have been awarded this year's "Victims' Family Members Award" by the Foundation for China in the 21st Century. Because of his courage to speak the truth, my husband Hu Jia was put under house arrest, made to disappear, and subjected to violence, isolation and constraints. On March 28, 2006, after being missing for 41 days, Hu Jia came back to me from his kidnappers from the public security agency. He was almost reduced to a skeleton, suffering daily from nightmares, emotional difficulties, and cirrhosis. Despite that, I am still grateful that he has returned to me alive. I treasure every minute with him. I feel happy but I know our ordeal is not over yet and I must prepare myself for the next round of tribulation. I also know that on this soil that we love so dearly, there are many other women who are going through the same ordeal as mine. They have family members with high morals who are still incarcerated, mysteriously missing, and subject to house arrest, constraints, and great injustice.

I want to extend my thanks to the Foundation for the 21st Century, to all the friends and relatives who have stood by us, and to all the kind-hearted people from all over the world who have paid attention to our plight and lent their support. And I pity every adversary of ours who gave us trial and tribulation. Indeed, ordeal is not the same as suffering. Real sufferings come from within. No one can make us suffer unless we let it happen. Buddha teaches us that one's life is subject to all kinds of hardships. In the AIDS villages in central China, in the cold high Tibetan plateau, in quiet and bleak hospices, in the hustle and bustle of Beijing, I have seen all kinds of people who courageously endured their hardships and sought to live a happy life in spite of their hardships. One does not have to endure suffering unless one stops guarding their happiness.

My husband Hu Jia chooses to be a man of good conscience and make defending human dignity his cause. In so doing, he naturally also chooses the sufferings that accompany them. I understand and respect his choices. While exchanging our wedding vows, we committed to each other in happiness and in tribulation. I will strive to learn more. I will learn to be wiser and live a happier life. Faced with terror, dark rule, evil, and hatred of a formidable foe, I have no weapons but love and tolerance. In days ahead, I will continue to use love to fend off enemies and protect my husband from more harms. Hatred can only intensify hatred. Only love can bring shame to the evil-doers, help them stop inflicting hatred and oppression on others, and give them the capability to love not only their own family members but also those of other families. When that day comes, there will be no one left do commit evil deeds. There will be no evil government apparatus and only then would my family be able to live peacefully and happily in the land that we love so dearly.

Had there not been the consistent encouragement from many relatives and friends and the concern and support from the environment protection circles, AIDS research community, right-advocacy groups, media outlets, foreign embassies, and international organizations as well as other conscience-driven individuals, Hu Jia might well be incarcerated still in an unknown location, his family members might still be dealing with the frustration and frustration of not knowing his whereabouts, and I might well have already collapsed due to fear and panic. Hu Jia and I would like to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt appreciation for what has been bestowed upon us. We would like to once again thank the Foundation for China in the 21st Century. This honor is an affirmation of the cause and character of the victims and a great comfort and encouragement to us family members of the victims. I am more resolved than ever to face life with confidence. With your encouragement and the support of good-hearted friends from all over the world, our life ahead promises less injustice, hardship, fear, panic and hopelessness but more confidence, happiness, tenacity, wisdom, and sunshine.

Please allow us to bow to you all one more time. Thanks to you all!

Zeng Jingyan
June 16, 2006

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