Democracy Award honors Heroes of Human Rights and Democracy in China
In 1998, the National Endowment for Democracy honored the heroic efforts of two men that represent the two generations of the post-Mao democracy movement in China — the generation of the Democracy Wall movement of 1978-79, of which Wei Jingsheng is the preeminent figure; and the generation of the Tiananmen Square demonstrations of 1989, whose democratic aspirations and values Wang Dan has espoused with exemplary eloquence, integrity and self-sacrifice.
Each has been imprisoned by the Chinese dictatorship for engaging in peaceful dissent from official policy. Each possesses a distinctive democratic voice whose power derives from a combination of intellectual depth and uncompromising devotion to principle.
For representing a peaceful alternative to achieve democracy and for their courage and steadfastness in the cause of democracy, the National Endowment for Democracy is proud to present its Democracy Award to Wei Jingsheng and Wang Dan.