Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A511-W239



Release Date: December 5, 2009



Topic: The Oak Leaves that Never Fall in the Winter -- Prize Dedication to Huang Qi and Yang TianShui as Awardees of the Sixth Annual "Wei Jingsheng Chinese Democracy Champion Prize" by the Wei Jingsheng Foundation

标题:冬日里不落的橡树叶 -- 魏京生基金会第六届"魏京生中国民主斗士奖"对黄琦和杨天水的颁奖词


Original Language Version: Chinese (Chinese version at the end)



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The Oak Leaves that Never Fall in the Winter

-- Prize Dedication to Huang Qi and Yang TianShui as Awardees of the Sixth Annual "Wei Jingsheng Chinese Democracy Champion Prize" by the Wei Jingsheng Foundation


December 5, 2009



Late autumn is a season of beauty and magnificence.  Facing the upcoming cold winter, splendid red leaves display their last gorgeousness, shocking people's spirits, especially these lonely souls.  Before all is covered by white snow, these autumn leaves use their own ways of expression, displaying in layers their own characters and tales.  Now and then, there are exhausted leaves falling with the wind, as beautiful butterflies forever melted into the still green grassland.


When the snowstorms arrive, the red maple leaves that covered all the ridges and ravines in the mountains disappear.  In that boundless mountain forest, only the oak trees still have a few dry leaves hanging there, moving and comforting the strangers who are both mentally and physically exhausted.


On our road to gain democracy for the Chinese people, we have also experienced different seasons.  When the vigorous democracy movement was suppressed by the Chinese Communists' tanks, machine guns and jails, red blood colored the bodies of our summer youth.  Now there are people tortured to death.  There are also people who quit, just like fallen autumn leaves.  Unable to bear the endless cold winter nights, there are people who even question if the warm seasons ever existed or would come after all.  To the extreme, those who carry on their democracy, human rights and freedom ideals like the oak leaves, are teased as the losers who are sick, are addicted, and have hatred against the others, thus concluded as people who would accomplish nothing.


This time of China is exactly the season of a frigid winter.  Piercingly cold winds blow over those people who devoted themselves to freedom and democracy.  Purgatory tortures their bodies, while indignation torments their families and friends.  People of the free world are now ready to celebrate the holiday season and the New Year with their families and friends.  How much these prisoners of conscience and their families and friends wish to be able to be united and enjoy their family togetherness as well.  Especially, the prisoners of conscience who are jailed due to their use of the Internet, who pushed for the Internet freedom, would be very much enjoy the use of the Internet to exchange and to communicate with their families and friends freely.  Yet, these simple wishes are all too much an extravagance at this time.  Chinese prisoners of conscience are paying their freedom for their ideology and justice, as well as for striving for freedom for everyone.


Today, is the date for the Wei Jingsheng Foundation to announce its 6th annual "Wei Jingsheng Chinese Democracy Champion Prize".  It is also a time for us to express our gratitude and encouragement to these people of conscience.


This year's "Wei Jingsheng Democracy Champion Prize" shall be shared by Mr. HUANG Qi and Mr. YANG TianShui.  Both are now in prison.  We honor them with this prize, as a way to cite their unyielding persistence in carrying on their democratic ideology, as well as the courage to put it into practice.  In particular, we want to cite their effort of using the Internet as a means to more effectively propagate democratic ideas, and to communicate with people.  Among the first group of prestigious college graduates right after the Chinese Cultural Revolution, both Huang Qi and Yang TianShui could have had "progress with time", joining into the ranks of the Chinese Communist Party's "Three Representatives", thus profiting by being in line with the Chinese Communist Party.  Yet, in their conscience, believing in the importance of political reforms, both of them became devoted to democracy and freedom in China without looking back.  Such a high spirit of sacrifice is indeed remarkable.  Although both of them were sent to jail for their democracy and freedom activities before, both of them have consistently continued their efforts after they came out of jail, and thus were arrested and sent to jail again.  This kind of determination and bravery are particularly precious.  We wish that our gratitude and encouragement could enhance these brave heroes with even bigger determination and hope.


Mr. YANG TianShui was born in JiangSu province in 1961 with the birth name YANG TongYan.  He graduated from the History Department of Beijing Normal University in 1982.  In the summer of 1989, he participated in the democratic movement of the Nanjing area.  In the earlier half of 1990, he founded the  "Chinese Democratic Alliance" with some friends.  He was arrested on June 1, 1990, and was put in prison until May of 2000.  During his jail time, he went on hunger strikes several times, and also had diabetes.  After 2004, he was detained and searched many times, in the name of "publishing articles on the Internet which damaged the reputation of the country and were not beneficial to social stability".  On May 16, 2006, the Intermediate Court of ZhengJiang City delivered a 12 year sentence to Yang, in the name of "Inciting subversion of the state".  During his most recent time in jail, Yang has not only suffered from the diabetes, but also gained more illnesses including severe arthritis, kidney problems, tuberculosis, and has lost a lot of weight.  However, the jail guards blamed Yang for "not learning good things," for being faithful to his ideology and for refusing to surrender himself, to such a degree that they even refused the visiting rights by Yang's family and friends.


On the Internet, Yang's articles propagated his democracy and rights defending ideas, and especially defended workers' interests, such as:  The Sweat Shops in SuZhou; The Rising of Suppressions, Everyone has Rights to Against the Autocracy; What Crimes Have the Rights Defending Lawyers Done?; Everywhere Rights were Abused;  The Rusty Machine of Autocracy;  Let us Hold Back the Deterioration of Chinese Human Rights; It is Violation of the Law to Exploit Mao GuoLiang's Working Rights;  Mine Disasters and Human Rights;  Appeal for Scholars of Conscience; etc.


Before Yang TianShui's arrest, he would still support other democracy advocators in China, despite himself being on dangerous ground.  He took risks to communicate with others both inside and outside China, making appeals for fellow human rights activists.  Exactly because of this, the Wei Jingsheng Foundation always gave extra care for his suggestions and requests.  This time we award him is not simply as an honor for what he has done for the Chinese democracy and freedom movement over a long period of time, but also as a token of gratitude to his past help and cooperation with the Wei Jingsheng Foundation.


Mr. HUANG Qi has the Internet name Nan Bo.  He was born in 1963 in Sichuan Province.  Graduating from Department of Electronics of Sichuan University, he is one of the earliest Chinese who received a jail sentence due to his Internet discussions.  In 1999, he established "64Tianwang" website with his wife Ceng Li.  Because of the incisive voice of his website regarding on-going politics and public discussions, he was arrested on June 3, 2000 by the police.  Moments before his arrest, he left his last message on his website: "There is a long way ahead.  Thanks to you everywhere.  Thanks to all the people who work for Chinese democracy.  They have arrived.  Good bye."  After almost 3 years of detention, on May 9, 2003, the intermediate court of Chengdu City sentenced him 5 years in the name of "Inciting subversion of the state".


After the big 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, the newly released Huang Qi participated in the disaster relief work, meanwhile providing help to the parents of the students who were killed in the earthquake.  He visited the most disaster stricken areas with a lot of relief materials 11 times, while writing on the Internet to expose the school building quality.  He was arrested in June 2008.  On November 23, 2009. the Wuhou court of Chengdu City announced a 3 year sentence to Huang Qi in the name of "illegally holding national secrets".


Huang Qi cares about powerless people and is determined to defend justice in pursuing human rights.  He is not only a serious thinker, but also a steadfast action taker.  For this, he paid a dear personal price.  During his detention, his father Mr. Huang Ronggui was terminal ill, yet the authorities refused to give essential humanitarian consideration to let them meet each other for the last time.  After Huang Qi's father passed away on September 5, 2009, many rights defending activists inside China signed a petition asking the authorities to let Huang Qi attend the funeral, according to related laws.  Yet, it was also refused.  This sad experience of Huang Qi reminded me of the similar experience of my own, as well as many of other democratic activists.  Till now, I still remember that nearly 10 years ago when Huang Qi was detained for the first time, I went to Washington DC on the invitation of the late US Senator Paul Wellstone for a press conference calling for his release.  I also once considered helping his young child at that difficult time.  There is no more evil autocratic government than the one which kidnaps your family and your endearment to them.


For more than one decade now, the Chinese Communist Party has been spending huge amounts of money and human resources to monitor and control the Internet, to build Internet firewalls -- a new kind of Berlin Wall that blocks freedom.  However, popular inclination shall determine that the Internet becomes a tool for the Chinese people to gain democracy and human rights.  Huang Qi and Yang Tianshui have not just set up shining examples, but also are pioneers for this field.  The Wei Jingsheng Foundation is honored to award these two outstanding people the "Wei Jingsheng Chinese Democracy Champion Prize".  We also wish that the award could bring some warmth and brightness to those who are suffering in these long and cold nights.


There was a special interview with Huang Qi titled: The Cold Winter is not That Long Anymore.  Yes indeed, a cold and dark winter could wear down people's beliefs and decrease people's willpower.  In my human rights journey, I have often driven in goose feather sized snowstorms in the midnight.  There would be no travelers at that time in the wide-open landscape of Pennsylvania mountains, but only the reflected light from the snowflakes and silence of the darkness.  At that time, I would suddenly think of these brave pioneers who are locked away in the cold and dark jails.  An ancient poem of more than 1,300 years would jump out of my brain: "You do not see people before you.  You do not see people after you.  Heaven and earth are so broad and remote.  It makes my lonely soul drop tears."  This mentality of lofty ideals with little or no recognition yet the goal seems to be so far away has made so many heroes drop tears.  I think this poem must also be recited by our jailed heroes Yang Tianshui and Huang Qi nowadays, in their cold, dark and lonely jail cells.


However, both Huang Qi and Yang Tianshui are not alone at all.  They have opened a new landscape on the Internet, and left many articles there for us to read.  People who are yearning for human rights and freedom are a kindred spirit with them.  We are grateful to them.  Because of them, there is hope; the cold winter is not that long anymore.  We praise them.  Because of their effort and sacrifice, we will see the day when China has freedom.  We eulogize these tall and straight oak trees that do not surrender their leaves in the winter.  Because, despite a bleak and desolate time, these oak leaves that were tortured by ice and snow refuse to fall with the wind.  You see, they hold their heads up and are calling: when the spring comes, we shall sprout again!



HUANG Ciping (signed)

Executive Director, Wei Jingsheng Foundation



Wei Jingsheng Foundation sixth annual "Wei Jingsheng Democracy Champion Prize" award announcement by its judging committee:



Photo of Huang Qi:


Photo of Yang Tianshui:




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Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A511-W239



Release Date: December 5, 2009



Topic: The Oak Leaves that Never Fall in the Winter -- Prize Dedication to Huang Qi and Yang TianShui as Awardees of the Sixth Annual "Wei Jingsheng Chinese Democracy Champion Prize" by the Wei Jingsheng Foundation

标题:冬日里不落的橡树叶 -- 魏京生基金会第六届"魏京生中国民主斗士奖"对黄琦和杨天水的颁奖词


Original Language Version: Chinese (Chinese version at the end)









-- 魏京生基金会第六届"魏京生中国民主斗士奖"对黄琦和杨天水的颁奖词















杨天水,原名杨同彦,中国江苏省人。1961 年生。他于1982年毕业于北京师范大学历史系。1989年夏,曾参与南京地区的民主运动。1990年上半年,他与一些同道一起成立“中华民主联盟”。同年6月1日被捕。1990年6月至2000年5月,他入狱整整十年。在狱中,进行了数次绝食抗争,并患上糖尿病。2004年之后,他被以“在互联网上发表损害国家荣誉的以及不利于社会安定的文章”的罪名,多次被拘留和搜查。2006年5月16日,江苏省镇江市中级法院以“煽动颠覆国家政权罪”,判处杨天水有期徒刑12年,剥夺政治权利4年。目前,患有糖尿病的杨天水,在狱中又得了严重的关节炎,肾病,结核病,体重大大下降。但狱方却指责理念不渝,坚强不屈的杨天水为“ 不学好",对家属亲友的探望百般刁难。






黄琦,网名难博,中国四川人,1963 年生。毕业于四川大学无线电子系。是中国互联网早期因网络言论入狱的公民之一。他与妻子曾丽于1999年设立“六四天网”网站。由于天网在时政与公共评论中的声音尖锐,2000年6月3日,黄琦被警方逮捕。被捕前他在网上留言:“路还很长,感谢大家、感谢为中国民主努力的人们。他们来了,告别了”。在他被捕近三年后,2003年5月9日,成都市中级人民法院以“煽动颠覆国家政权”罪,判处黄琦有期徒刑5年。


2008年汶川大地震后,出狱不久的黄琦积极参与救灾活动,同时为地震中死亡学生的家长提供帮助。他前后11次携带大批物资去重灾区赈灾,而且在网上撰文揭露“豆腐渣”工程,同年6月被捕。2009年11月 23日成都市武侯区法院对黄琦案进行了宣判,以“非法持有国家机密文件罪”判处黄琦有期徒刑三年。


黄琦心系弱势民众、坚决捍卫公道、追求人权。他不仅是个严肃的思想者,更是个坚定的行动者,然而也因此付出他个人与家庭的沉重代价。在他被关押期间,他的父亲黄荣贵老先生病危,但当局却拒绝给与最起码的人道考虑,连最后的一面都没能见到。在黄琦的父亲于2009 年9月5日病故后,国内许多维权人士签名呼吁有关当局本着人道主义精神,依照相关法律规定准许黄琦回家奔丧,见父亲最后一面并处理相关后事,以尽人伦孝道,亦被拒绝。这个悲惨的经历使我联想到我个人和许多民运人士的类似经历。至今,我还清楚地记得将近十年前在黄琦第一次被捕时,我受已故美国参议员保罗威尔斯顿的邀请,去美国首都华盛顿参加记者会为他本人呼吁时,也曾考虑过帮助他年幼的孩子。有什么比一个绑架你的亲情和家庭的专制政府更为邪恶的呢?


十多年来,中共花了大笔的金钱和人力来监控互联网,建造防火墙 -- 新一类的阻挡自由的柏林墙。但是道高一尺,魔高一丈,民心所向必将决定互联网成为中国人民争取民主与人权的工具。黄琦和杨天水不仅仅为我们做出了表率,他们更是这个领域的先锋。魏京生基金会为能对这两个杰出人物授予"魏京生中国民主斗士奖"感到荣幸,也希望能为正在漫漫黑夜中煎熬的他们带去一些温暖与光明。







黄慈萍 (签署)





















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