Famous human rights lawyer, Feng Zhenghu, denied entry into his Chinese homeland and refused entry into Japan, is stranded at Narita airport, Japan

Japanese authorities refusing food to Mr. Feng

Harvard Fellow, Yang Jianli,  mobilizing “Toykyo Airlift”  to bring food and drink to Mr. Feng now in his 7th day of at airport

Activist Lawyer Takes Stand Against Chinese Government’s Illegal Practice of Denying Its Citizens Entry Into China

November 11, 2009

Brookline, MA

Dr. Yang Jianli, a fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and former political prisoner of the Chinese communist government, is organizing a campaign to feed and support fellow Chinese citizen, Feng Zhenghu, who has been stranded at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport since November 2, after he was denied entry into his native Shanghai.

Chinese authorities’ refusal to allow him into China was the eighth such incident that Feng has experienced at Shanghai Pudong Airport.  He is a well-known human rights attorney and activist, who spent three years as a political prisoner in China.

“This is a clear violation of  Article 13 paragraph 2  of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which China is a signatory,” Yang said. “This illegal action by the Chinese government denies thousands of citizens such as Mr. Feng and myself from ever returning to our homes.

Yang was imprisoned from 2002 to 2007, after returning to China upon completion of his Ph.D. at Harvard.  Both men have repeatedly been refused entry to China despite their citizenship and valid passports. Yang is sponsoring flights to Tokyo to feed and support Feng, and asking travelers not only to help him through providing food, but to take photos, alert media and take action to bring attention to Feng’s situation.

Yang said that after Feng landed in Shanghai ten days ago, Shanghai police forcefully escorted him to the All Nippon Airways counter and onto a flight to Tokyo.  “The Japanese employees of the airline in the Shanghai airport gave in to pressure from the police and supported this coercion,” Yang added.

After his forced returned to Tokyo, Feng gave up a Japanese visa, saying that he did not want to enter Japan, but rather wanted to exercise his legal right to return to his own country, home and family. He has been surviving with little food, no bathing facilities, and sleeping on seats in the Terminal One arrival area.

Yang is founder and president of Initiatives for China, a non-profit organization that advocates for peaceful transition to a democratic government in communist China.  It recently sponsored the Fifth Intrerethnic/Interfaith Leadership  Conference in Washington, D.C., which Feng attended as a delegate. Mr. Feng has been out of China since April of 2009.

Initiatives for China is providing two other conference delegates, also Chinese citizen activists, with tickets to Tokyo in order to bring food and supplies to Feng.  “I am urging other travelers to help Mr. Feng, too, by providing food, by taking pictures, contacting the media, or doing whatever can bring attention to this unjust situation.  It has happened too many times to too many of us Chinese citizens,” Yang said.

Christina Chan, a student in Hong Kong, is scheduled to arrive at Narita at 1:00 p.m. (local time in Japan) on November 12.  Dr. He Baoping, another human rights attorney and delegate to the recent conference, is scheduled to arrive about 24 hours later.

Wong Min and Chen Xiaoping (USA), Sheng Xue (Canada) and Chen Zhang (Australia) are other supporters of Feng who are offering airline tickets for those willing to travel to Japan to help Feng.