Jiang Yanyong, Political Prisoner

Philip Pan writes in today's Washington Post (free registration required) about Jiang Yanyong, a Chinese doctor imprisoned by the Communist Party of China for exposing the government's attempted coverup of the SARS outbreak. The government gives the reason for his imprisonment as, "Based on relevant regulations, the military has been helping and educating him." Sources in the article translate this statement as Jiang undergoing brainwashing sessions. In addition to blowing the whistle on the SARS cover-up, Jiang also wrote a letter to the Party urging them to admit that the Tiananmen Square massacre was a wrong, as he had been chief of surgery at a hospital where many of the wounded civilians had been brought.

As tragic as is his treatment by the Chinese Communist Party, a small positive is that Jiang appears to have widespread popular support, as "Ninety-nine percent of the people support him". And with the detailed description of events leading to his arrest given by the source in the article, it appears that he even has a few sympathizers within the hierarchy. As we celebrate the willingness of our forefathers to put their lives on the line in the name of freedom on this Independence Day weekend, spare a thought for a Chinese man willing to stand up for his principles against one of the most corrupt regimes in the world.

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