Reporter Yang Fan
2020 is a year when people worldwide are deeply mired in the pain of the new coronavirus. What is even more painful is that the totalitarian CCP government headed by Xi Jinping also used the epidemic to intensify the persecution of democratic activists in China, Hong Kong, and other areas. Because of this situation, the Laogai Research Foundation has stepped up and strengthened its humanitarian assistance to mainland political prisoners and their victims’ families in the past year, effectively assisting 59 political prisoners and their families in 2020.
The focus of humanitarian assistance in 2020 is on political prisoners and their families who are currently serving sentences in Chinese prisons or have just been released from jail. Cooperate with the Programs of the Writers in Prison and Freedom to Write Committee of the Independent Chinese PEN Center （ICPC）. They assist about 40 human rights lawyers, political prisoners, and human rights activities every year in China. In the past year, 41 mainland political prisoners received assistance.
With the Chinese government’s repression of civil society and tightening of speech control, more and more political prisoners have emerged in China, many of whom and their families face financial difficulties. Due to changes in the world situation and the impact of the new crown epidemic, the world’s humanitarian aid funds concerned about China’s human rights cannot cover Chinese political prisoners who need economic assistance.
To this end, while maintaining the original relief channels, the Council of the Laogai Research Foundation established a new small humanitarian funding project on October 1, 2020, to provide direct relief to Chinese political prisoners and their families. So far, 6 existing Chinese political prisoners and prisoners of conscience have been aided.
For the historically persecuted mainland political prisoners and their families, the Laogai Research Foundation has also cooperated with some highly reputable human rights organizations to assist. They include the Support Network for the Persecuted in China (SNP), the California Democracy Education Foundation (CDEF), and the Minnesota Chinese Democracy Foundation (MCDF). The Laogai Research Foundation has assisted 12 families of June 4th victims and 6 members of “Tiananmen Mothers Group” in the past year.