Dr. Yang JianliChina

Dr. Yang Jianli (born 1963) is a scholar and democracy activist who was imprisoned by the Chinese government in April 2002 for espionage and illegal entry. He was freed on April 27, 2007.

Dr. Yang, a Chinese citizen, is internationally renowned for his efforts to promote democracy in China. He has been involved in the pro-democracy movement in China since the 1980s and was forced to flee China in 1989 after the Tiananmen Square massacre. He holds PhDs in mathematics from the University of California at Berkeley and in political economy and government from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Dr. Yang is one of approximately 50 expatriate Chinese dissidents who was “blacklisted” by the Chinese government and not allowed to enter China. Challenging this unacknowledged blacklist, Dr. Yang entered China on April 19, 2002, to observe labor unrest in the country and was detained by Chinese authorities several weeks later. He was held incommunicado.

On May 13, 2004, after being held in an illegal detention five months beyond the deadline under Chinese law for the court to issue a judgment, the Chinese government announced a guilty verdict and sentenced Dr. Yang to five years in prison for espionage and illegal entry.

After an extensive campaign by Freedom Now, Dr. Yang was released on April 27, 2007, and on August 18, 2007, Dr. Yang returned home to his wife and two children in Boston. On August 21, 2007, Dr. Yang Held a press conference on Capitol Hill, thanking key supporters.

Dr. Yang went on to found Initiatives for China and remains active in the China pro-democracy movement. More information about his current efforts can be found at Initiatives for China or www.yangjianli.com.

Selected documents from Dr. Yang Jianli's case
Associated Press ArticleJanuary 20, 2004

Reporting on statements by members of the U.S. Congress calling for the release of Dr. Yang Jianli on his 1000th day in detention.

Family Petition (Chinese)March 12, 2004

Submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on behalf of Dr. Yang Jianli.

Family Petition (English)March 14, 2004

Submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on behalf of Dr. Yang Jianli.

Letter from 40 U.S. Senators and 119 Members of CongressApril 10, 2006

Urging the U.S. President to raise the case personally during bilateral discussions.

Opinion of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary DetentionJune 4, 2003

Finding the imprisonment of Dr. Yang Jianli arbitrary under international law.

Petition to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary DetentionDecember 9, 2002

Submitted on behalf of Dr. Yang Jianli.

PicturesApril 24, 2003

Of the candlelight vigil with members of the U.S. Congress on the anniversary of the detention of Dr. Yang Jianli.

Press ReleaseApril 20, 2003

Announcing a candlelight vigil with members of the U.S. Congress on the one-year anniversary of the detention of Dr. Yang Jianli.

Press ReleaseApril 20, 2004

Announcing a press conference with members of the U.S. Congress on the second anniversary of the detention of Dr. Yang Jianli.

Senate Resolution 184May 25, 2003

Calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Dr. Yang Jianli.

Testimony of Jared GenserMay 5, 2004

Before the Canadian House of Commons Subcommittee on Human Rights and International Development of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

U.S. House of Representatives Resolution 199June 25, 2003

Urging the U.S. President to raise the case personally during bilateral talks.