1.CPIFC’s Tribute to Mr. Bao Tong


December 10, 2018  Washington, D.C.

On the eve of the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre, it is with great respect and deep gratitude that we present the 2018 Citizen Power Award to Mr. Bao Tong, in recognition of his decades-long contribution to building democracy in China, and the personal sacrifices he has made toward achieving a peaceful transition of China’s political system and support for its civil society.

The June 4, 1989 Tiananmen massacre of protestors was a tragedy of modern China, and a personal disaster for Mr. Bao Tong himself. In the 1980s, Mr. Bao Tong was the primary assistant of Zhao Ziyang who as General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party and who was also one of the few open-minded leaders of the Party. Bao Tong contributed greatly to supporting Mr. Zhao’s attempts to reform the Chinese political system. During the 1989 student democracy movement, he sympathized with the students and opposed the government’s violent oppression of the students.  For this reason, after the massacre, he was sentenced to seven years in prison, and has been under house arrest and close surveillance since his release from prison.


However, Mr. Bao Tong does not regret losing his government position, nor is he discouraged by the setbacks of Chinese political reform. For years, he has continued to speak out as a citizen. He has advocated for human rights, and has bravely challenged China’s suppression of civil society. Indeed, it seems that with every setback, the more emboldened he becomes; he never retreats, always displaying his tremendous willpower and moral character.

Mr. Bao Tong’s consistent sincerity is the embodiment of China’s conscience. He has greatly encouraged and inspired all of us. Mr. Bao Tong has not only been a witness to the tremendous tides that have swept China’s modern history, he has been a force for good. We are honored to walk side-by-side with Mr. Bao in the right direction of history, and we will surely arrive at our destination. Today, we pay high tribute to Mr. Bao Tong by presenting him with the Citizen Power Award.











鲍彤先生始终如一的真诚是中国良心的体现,给我们以极大鼓舞和鞭策,鲍彤先生是中国大历史的见证人,也是中国大历史的推动者,在必将抵达的历史方向上,能够与鲍彤先生同行,是我们的荣幸, 我们以公民力量奖向鲍彤先生致以崇高敬意。


2018年12月10日 华盛顿


Bao Tong’s Speech on Receiving the Citizen Power Award

December 10, 2018  Beijing


Thanks be to Citizen Power Initiatives for China, and thank you Mr. Jianli Yang, thank you everyone! Thank you for your encouragement. Civil society is your pursuit and mine as well. I want to be a citizen in a civil society. I don’t want to be a slave in the slave society, nor a slave owner who dominates others. Everyone who is neither willing to be a slave nor a slave owner is my fellow comrades. Roads are made by many travelers. Our road is still very long and we need to continue our journey together.

Thank you again!






2018年12月10日 北京



2.CPIFC’s Award Tribute to Ms. Mihrigul Tursun


December 10, 2018  Washington, D.C.



This honoree’s personal bravery is humbling and incredibly inspirational. Mihrigul Turson was born in Kuerle City, Xinjiang. She is an ordinary Uyghur woman but has taken extraordinary courage and heroic action in helping to expose to the world the Chinese Communist regime’s atrocities against millions of Uyghurs. 


Mihrigul gave birth to beautiful triplets in March 2015. However, when she took her two-month old babies back to Xinjiang in May 2015, the Chinese police detained her and took her babies away from her. She did not see her babies again for another three months, and when she did, they were in the hospital, suffering terrible health problems. Her oldest son later died. 


Between May 2015 and April 2018, Mihrigul was taken into detention 3 times. Altogether she survived 10 months in the camps. Each time she was taken, police handcuffed her and put a black sack over her head. Each time, she suffered unbearable torture and mental torment.


The cells were so overcrowded that prisoners had to take turns sleeping. The conditions were filthy, with a single toilet in the room for 60 or more people. Some prisoners had not taken a shower in over one year. The prisoners were fed a starvation diet, often just a steamed bun or watery rice. Mihrigul suffered beatings that caused her hands to bleed. She suffered prolonged sleep deprivation, and electrocution so severe that she begged the guards to kill her.


Because both of Mihrigul’s children have Egyptian nationality, the Egyptian Embassy in China intervened. Finally she was allowed to leave China for Egypt. Before boarding, the Chinese authorities warned her not to forget who she was and that her parents were still under the protection of China.


Mihrigul has shown tremendous inner strength in surviving China’s modern-day concentration camps. As a 29-year-old grieving mother and torture survivor, she chose not to suffer in silence but to come forward to the world stage to tell the truth, to tell about the horrific suffering and cruelty that over a million others are still experiencing in China today, right now. While the Chinese Communists continue to lie and try to cover-up their attack on the Uighur people, Mihrigul’s brave testimony has helped shine a light where there has only been darkness. For her extraordinary strength and her courage in coming forward as a public witness to crimes against humanity, Citizen Power Initiatives for China awards her this Citizen Power Award of 2018.




公民力量奖颁奖词—致米娜.特尔逊 (中文翻译:陈云鹏)




















2018年12月10日 华盛顿




Mihrigul Tursun’s Acceptance Speech


December 10, 2018  Washington, D.C.


Ladies and Gentlemen! And dear friends at the Citizen Power Initiatives for China!

Thank you so much for giving me this meaningful award.

I am Mihrigul Tursun. I am blessed to have miraculously escaped from China’s concentration camps or the so called “re-education centers.” I spent a total of 10 months in these camps; I was starved and beaten. I suffered physical and psychological torture. And I was electrocuted in the infamous tiger chair. I am a mother who lost her son. I am a wife who was separated from her husband. And I am a daughter who may never see her parents again…

This award means a lot to me because it gives me faith in the existence of humanity and justice in this world. I believe that this will also give hope to my people, millions of Uyghurs being tortured at this moment, that there is humanity, justice, and love in this world.

I am now in a free world. I can breathe freely. I can speak freely. But my people, millions of innocent women, men, and children are facing unjust and inhumane treatment in China’s concentration camps just because their language, religion, and ethnic and cultural identity are different from that of the Chinese Communist Party.

I believe there is one power in the world that can stand against hatred, brutality, and atrocity, and it transcends ethnic, religious, and geographic barriers. And that power is humanity. It is the power of love, compassion, and tolerance. Thank you for your love. Thank you for your compassion.

You have strengthened my will to be the proud and brave voice of my people. For me, this is not just an award; it is a responsibility. China’s Communist government is carrying out an ethnic cleansing of innocent Uyghur people. I personally witnessed 9 deaths in three months alone. I stand before you as the only witness in the US of China’s brutal concentration camps. And I promise you that I will continue to be the voice of those silenced, oppressed, and tortured Uyghur people and I will continue to tell the world about the Chinese government’s crimes against humanity.

I believe that this is a responsibility for all of us. Every person who can speak freely in the free world has a moral obligation to speak up and take an action on behalf of those silenced, oppressed, and tortured so that one day we can give back their faith in the existence of humanity, justice, and love.

Thank you.




米娜.特尔逊领奖致辞 (中文翻译:陈云鹏)
















3.CPIFC’s Award Tribute to Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett


December 10, 2018  Washington, D.C.


This honoree is a fierce partner in our fight for democracy. Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett is the President of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice. Ten years ago, Katrina founded the Lantos Foundation to continue the human rights work of her legendary father, Congressman Tom Lantos, the only Holocaust survivor ever to serve in the United States Congress. Congressman Lantos not only served as the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, but was also the founder of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus. Katrina has built on the solid foundation of her father and become a human rights powerhouse in her own right, both through her work at the Lantos Foundation and through her other outside commitments. She is a longtime passionate and forceful advocate and defender of human rights. Her passion for the persecuted and the weak, her love for humanity, her independence in politics, and her innovative thinking have made her a global human rights champion, one who has advanced religious freedom, rule of law, internet freedom, and free speech. She has been beacon of hope and offered strong support for those on the front lines of human rights work around the world.  Katrina has been a friend, mentor, advocate and powerful ally for all of those fighting oppression or injustice. For Katrina’s outstanding contributions to human rights, it a great honor for Citizen Power/Initiatives for China to present Katrina Lantos Swett with the Citizen Power Award of 2018. 



公民力量奖颁奖辞—致可翠娜.兰托斯 (中文翻译:陈云鹏)










Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett’s Acceptance Speech


December 10, 2018  Washington, D.C.


Thank you for this award. I am deeply honored not only to be receiving this award, but also to be receiving it from someone I so greatly admire – Yang Jianli.


I have had the privilege of knowing and working with Jianli for many years now and to me, he embodies the virtues that all human rights leaders should seek to emulate.


He is unyielding and undaunted in his determination to stand up for democracy and human rights in China and he is equally unyielding in his determination to do this in a way that is not only non-violent and inclusive of all communities, religious and otherwise, that are impacted by China’s repressive policies – but also in a way that calls forth what Abraham Lincoln used to call “the better angels of our nature.”


So thank you Jianli – not only for this award but also for the inspiration you are to me and so many others.


We need to keep the spirit you embody alive as we work to hold China accountable for its massive and spreading abuses of human rights. Not only within China proper, but also through its insidious tentacles internationally in business, academics, and the media.

Because of its vast size and throw weight, China again and again succeeds in distracting, denying, and downplaying the outrageous abuses taking place from Tibet to Hong Kong, to Xinxiang to the daily lives of millions of ordinary Chinese citizens who simply want to claim their inherent birthright to freedom, democracy, conscience rights, the rule of law, free expression and freedom of movement.


The challenge is great indeed, but China is not invincible as it sometimes appears to outsiders. Any government that does not derive “its just powers from the consent of the governed” has an underlying fragility and vulnerability that no boasting or blustering can conceal forever. Particularly not if brave activists like all of you continue your unrelenting efforts, using every legal, peaceful tool at your disposal, to shine the light on China’s abuses and to hold our leaders accountable for the way they do or don’t speak out and act to defend human rights in China.

Whether that means applying the Global Magnitsky Act to sanction Chinese officials implicated in severe human rights abuses.


Whether it means adequately funding and supporting internet technologies that allow the Chinese people to circumvent the great firewalls that seek to keep them locked in an information prison.

Whether that means robustly applying the IRFA to more forcefully advocate for persecuted faith communities in China including the Uighurs, the Falun Gong, Tibetan Buddhists, the Christian community, and others.


Finally, China can no longer be allowed to flout the rule of law with impunity in business matters including the theft of intellectual property, industrial espionage, forced technology transfers, and violation of sanctions. I have read much in the past few days about how the detention of the Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Canada has stoked fear and anger in China. I don’t know enough about the case to comment on the merits, but I do know that it is high time China realizes it cannot act with impunity to violate international laws and expect to get away with it – and if the case of the Huawei CFO makes them a little afraid that their unlawful behavior will have consequences, that is probably a good thing.


I pledge the Lantos Foundation will continue to fight for democracy and human rights in China and we are proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with all of you in this battle.

My late father, Tom Lantos, used to love to quote the famous New Hampshire poet, Robert Frost, who wrote;


“The woods are lovely dark and deep

But I have promises to keep

And miles to go before I sleep

And miles to go before I sleep”

We must each resist the temptation to be focused only on our personal goals and lives and strive instead to remember the promises we must keep to those who are striving for lives of dignity and freedom under tyrannical regimes. We indeed have miles to go before we sleep but it is a noble journey and well worth the effort.


Thank you.
































2018年12月10日 华盛顿