For being her father’s daughter, Zhang Anni, 11, has suffered for his cause.
Last year, the daughter of detained pro-democracy activist Zhang Lin was forcibly removed from her class by unidentified men, taken to a local police station and barred for seven weeks from going to school in Anhui province.
All that seems ages ago but Zhang, who now lives in the United States with a foster family, is reliving the experience by choice because she wants to defend the right of all children to education, Ming Pao Daily reported Monday.
She also wants to tell the world the truth about the 1989 pro-democracy crackdown in which her father suffered political repression and imprisonment for 12 years.
Anni, who attends fifth grade in California, told the newspaper that China’s education system has made a generation of children ignorant about the pro-democracy struggles of their parents.
History books and reporting by the tightly controlled media have been sanitized as the 25th anniversary of the June 4 student protests approaches, she said.
Anni’s greatest hope is for her father to be released from detention and to be allowed to join her in the US “so he he can feel what I feel”.
Meanwhile, she is keeping her fingers crossed that her older sister Ruli will get a place in a US college next school term.
Their adoptive parent, Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, has applied for political asylum for them in the US.
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