Wei Jingsheng

China's most prominent dissident, Wei Jingsheng, has spent most of his adult life in prison. He was first sentenced to fifteen years imprisonment in 1979 for arguing in protests and in his essay "The Fifth Modernization: Democracy" that, in addition to Deng Xiaoping's heralded reforms, China needed democracy. Enduring solitary confinement and unspeakable conditions, Wei was released in 1993 during China's bid to host the 2000 Olympic Games. Within eighteen months, after returning immediately to vocal protest, he was sentenced to another fourteen years. He was released three years later on medical parole. He now lives in the United States, hoping one day to return to China. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award.


Resources for Teachers and Students

Reflections on Working Towards Peace