Yang’s appeal, made in an open letter, could result in him being re-arrested because the terms of his parole ban him from . But Yang said he felt an obligation to help his friends, who are ill, and Obama may be able to raise their cases with Chinese leaders during his trip to Beijing next month.
“I have no choice but to take this risk because I feel I have a responsibility to help them,” Yang said in an interview. “If I don’t make an appeal that is particularly on behalf of these two people, they might just slip through the cracks.”
Yang, Zhang Honghai, Xu Wei and Jin Haike were jailed in 2001 for taking part in the New Youth Study Group, an informal group of young professionals and academics that met privately to discuss democratic reform.
See also this past CDT post on Yang Zili.