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U.S. Government Grants Guo Feixiong's Family Political Asylum

by Staff
November 24, 2009
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MIDLAND, Texas, ( -- On November 10, 2009, the U.S. government confirmed political asylum status for the wife and two children of Chinese legal advocate Guo Feixiong. The law firm handling the case was notified on November 19, and they shared the good news with the family. Guo's wife, Zhang Qing, expressed joy and gratitude over the decision, having escaped from China this February with teenage daughter, Yang Tianjiao, and 8-year-old son, Yang Tiance.

Guo Feixiong is considered by many to be China's "Number Two" legal advocate, second only to human rights attorney Gao Zhisheng. Guo (birth name Yang Maodong) has suffered intense persecution and physical torture for his human rights legal defense work. He is currently serving a 5-year sentence in Meizhou Detention Center in Guangdong for his political activism.

Guo's wife, Zhang Qing, became a political target herself in 2007, when she issued 10 open letters appealing for Guo Feixiong's release to American and Chinese leaders--including President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao, U.S. President Bush, and the U.S. Congress. Facing constant police surveillance and increasing danger, Zhang Qing knew the family would have to leave China.

In February, 2009, Zhang Qing fled with her children to Bangkok, Thailand, sending an appeal for political refugee status to the UN High Commission on Refugees. The UNHCR denied her request on March 19, because her case was not considered "under the UNHCR's mandate."

Aware of the Guo family's dangerous situation, ChinaAid President Bob Fu flew to Thailand to mediate and to speak to the UNHCR office in person. He addressed the Guo family's request to the Obama Administration prior to leaving the U.S. When the Obama Administration decided not to activate the special procedure allowing the Guo family to be extradited without UN approval, Bob Fu helped the Guo family flee to the United States. Zhang Qing and her two children arrived safely on American soil on April 7, 2009.

With the support of many NGOs, churches, individuals, and a strong legal team, the Guo family's asylum case processed smoothly in a little over 7 months. Barred from attending public school in China, the two children now attend a private school in Midland, Texas. Zhang Qing will now also be permitted to work under her new asylum status. She prays that one day, husband and father Guo will join them safely in the United States.

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