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Announcement by the Foundation for China in the 21ST Century Concerning the Bestowment of the Fourth "Victims’ Family Members Award" on Ms. Zeng Jinyan

(June 24, 2006)China's human rights conditions continued to deteriorate in 2005. Instances of harassment and kidnapping of dissidents occurred frequently. We noticed that such harassment and kidnappings have inflicted great pains on the family members of dissidents. They have led us to be gravely concerned about the political situation in China.

Among the innocent victims, Ms. Zeng Jinyan represented a beacon of hope. All her efforts to find her husband who was kidnapped by the Chinese government have inspired many suppressed souls who yearn for the dawn of a better political environment in China. The bestowment of the Fourth Victims' Family Members Award on Ms. Zeng Jinyan is not only the Foundation's honor, but it also sends our greetings and best wishes to all family members of political prisoners in China.

Ms. Zeng Jinyan is an activist on environmental issues and AIDS. She devoted a great deal of her time and energy to the AIDS patients in Henan province without ever seeking to get credit for her work. However, on February 16, 2006, her husband Hu Jia was secretly kidnapped by the Chinese government for his participation in the "hunger strike relay." He was detained for as long as 41 days. This horrific incident greatly wreaked havoc in Ms. Zeng's life. Her husband had vanished without a trace and yet the government categorically denied having arrested her husband. In those extremely difficult forty plus days, Ms. Zeng spared no efforts to find her husband's whereabouts. Everyday, she would post on the Web her accounts of her husband's disappearance and issue announcements about her husband's disappearance. Her search efforts included a daily trip to the police station. If she was unable to go to the police station on her own, she would call to check. She would also go to the procuratorate and insist that an investigation be launched into her husband's disappearance. She also posted "Missing Person Notices" on various web portals and forums in search of her missing husband. Moreover, she sent emails to members of the People's Congress, international organizations, friends and relatives…. One month went by but the relevant authorities in the Chinese government did not make any response despite the vigorous search efforts made by Hu Jia's mother and wife. It was under such circumstances that Ms. Zeng held a press conference on March 21, 2006 to announce Hu Jia's disappearance to the world.

During her search for her husband, Ms. Zeng endured many hardships and faced threats from the authorities. Yet, she persevered and managed to see the day of her husband's return. It was a day for the triumph of conscience. A fragile woman defeated the state machine of world's most powerful totalitarian regime. It was a battle between love and hatred. Dicatorship represents hared but Ms. Zeng embodies love—love for her beloved family members and love that the totalitarian state machine is bent on destroying. The bestowing of this award to the moral heroes who defended love for one's family is an expression of respect and admiration to this family. As a matter of fact, love for one's family is always the first victim in a totalitarian regime. However, it is also the ultimate force that helps eradicate enemy's ideology and the evil forces of dictatorship.

We send Ms. Zeng Jinyan our warmest congratulations and hope more families in China will be free from the terror and political attacks by the dictatorial regime.

Foundation for China in the 21st Century, United States (June 16, 2006) (boxun.com)

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