Midland, Texas — Lin Zhao (1932-1968), formerly known as Peng Lingzhao, was a Christian from Suzhou, China. In 1954, Lin Zhao studied at the Chinese Literature Department of Peking University; in 1958, she was classified as a rightist; in October 1960, she was arrested and imprisoned for her participation in the planning of the underground publication “Xinghuo/Spark” and her published long poem “The Suffering Day of Prometheus.” She was released to be admitted to the hospital in early 1962 but was arrested again in November of the same year. She was detained at the Shanghai First Detention Center and imprisoned in Tilanqiao Prison. During her imprisonment, she used her blood to write a book against Mao Zedong and the Chinese Communist Party’s “Tyranny Enslavement.” She also wrote diaries, a letter to the editorial department of People’s Daily (“140,000-word Letter”), and so on. On April 29, 1968, Lin Zhao was sentenced to death in prison and executed by shooting on the same day.
On Aug. 22, 1980, the Shanghai Higher People’s Court revoked the ruling of the Military Commission and declared Lin Zhao not guilty on the grounds of mental illness. On Dec. 30, 1981, the Shanghai Higher People’s Court reviewed the case again and found the ruling of not guilty on the grounds of mental illness inappropriate. Therefore, the Court revoked the 1980 ruling as well as 1968 ruling and acquitted Lin Zhao.
Her innocent blood writes a piece of unforgotten history; her righteousness shines for thousands of years!
While old China was under the devastation of a dictatorship, Ms. Lin Zhao’s short and extraordinary life was like a meteor in the dark night, its light pierced through the seemingly endless darkness at that moment. Under the deadly silence of tyranny, Ms. Lin Zhao preferred to die rather than live silently. Her life demonstrated the most touching human light, which was unyielding to violence, a persistent conscience, an uncompromised integrity, and a fearless facing of death! Lin Zhao “embraced a Christian spirit,” so she refused to “avenge with blood” while resisting tyranny, and this provided moral enlightenment for contemporary China’s fight during the pursuit of a free and democratic society. Lin Zhao has become one of the most precious spiritual heritage for the Chinese and for all mankind.
As stars turn and time goes by, 2018 is the 50th anniversary of Lin Zhao’s murder. In memory of Lin Zhao, and to honor her as part of the sages’ heritage and to inspire the future generations, ChinaAid Association established the Lin Zhao Freedom Award to specifically recognize domestic Chinese citizens who are committed to promoting contemporary Chinese civil society and to making rule of law progress. The announcement of soliciting the nominations for the first Lin Zhao Freedom Award in 2018 is as follows:
The Lin Zhao Freedom Award is established to commemorate Lin Zhao’s democratic visions and moral courage, as well as her non-violent principles. At the same time, this award would like to provide moral and financial support to those individuals who have paid a huge price to promote the development of contemporary Chinese civil society and rule of law progress.
The nominees need to meet two basic conditions: (1) Adhering to the spirit of non-violence against injustice and oppression as promoted by Lin Zhao, promoting freedom and democracy, truth and reconciliation, and doing an excellent job in promoting rule of law and civil society in contemporary China. (2) Has suffered unjust treatments and persecutions in the process. Potential winners may include democracy activists who are suffering from serious persecution, such as imprisonment or being monitored or house arrests, and rule of law advocates.
The Lin Zhao Freedom Award will select one winner each year, issue an award certificate, and award 25,000 RMB [approximately $3,593.97 USD] prize. If the winner cannot come to receive the award in person, the award will be given to the winner’s family. If the winner or family members are unwilling to disclose their names due to safety concerns, the award will be given anonymously, and a corresponding announcement will be issued. All award results will be kept as historical data and will be made public at an appropriate time when the consent of the living winner was given or after the death of the winner. 2018 is the first year that the award will be given.
The first Lin Zhao Freedom Award nomination period will be from the date of this announcement to December 31, 2018. Each nomination form should be used for only one nominee. However, one nominator can submit several nomination forms to nominate several nominees at the same time.
ChinaAid Association and the Lin Zhao Freedom Award Selection Committee will keep the information of each nominator and nominee strictly confidential.
ChinaAid Association has established the Selection Committee specifically for the Lin Zhao Freedom Award. This Selection Committee consists of five members, two representatives from ChinaAid Association and three committee members from outside ChinaAid Association (they are renowned independent experts who have been paying close attention to the development of China’s human rights and freedom from outside of mainland China). The five-member Selection Committee will review the nomination materials received and decide the final recipient of the award by majority vote.
China Aid Association will announce the winner of the first Lin Zhao Freedom Award sometime in 2019. If the winner requests anonymity, the announcement will honor that request.