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This is what standing up for freedom looks like

By Michelle Malkin  •  October 8, 2009 12:48 PM

Here is your reminder of what courage, determination, and standing up for freedom look like:

Twenty years ago, a Chinese tank pummeled into student athlete Fang Zheng as he fled Tiananmen Square. He lost his legs and his livelihood as he was reduced to selling cigarettes at a street stall.

With the help of US supporters, Fang is once again on his feet through a pair of prosthetic limbs. And in his first public act, he did something he had never tried before — he asked his wife to dance.

Before an audience including members of the US Congress and exiled leaders of the Tiananmen pro-democracy protests, the 43-year-old Fang on Tuesday set aside his crutches and took his wife, Zhu Jin, by the hand.

…The effort to fit him with prosthetic legs was supported by advocacy groups including China Aid, which fights for the rights of Christians in the communist country, along with Michael Horowitz, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute.

Terrence Sheehan, who treated him at the Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital in suburban Washington, hailed Fang for his resilience.

“Most of the folks come to me to get their prosthetics within two or three weeks or months. They don’t wait 20 years,” Sheehan said.

Chinese dissidents plan to put a video of Fang’s first dance on YouTube, hoping it will become a symbol of hope.

“This is a great moment of salvation,” said Yang Jianli, another US-based Tiananmen leader who spent another five years in prison after sneaking back into China in 2002.

“In the past 20 years, in his spirit, Fang Zheng has been standing — even without legs,” he said.

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Categories: Islam, Repression