Peng Ming, a Chinese scholar who resided in the United States since 2001, was captured in 2004 after leaving the US to visit his elderly parents in Thailand. "At some point during his travels Mr. Peng was lured into [neighboring] Myanmar" also known as Burma, "where he was kidnapped at gunpoint by eight Chinese special agents," said China Aid Association (CAA) a major advocacy group.
"Mr. Peng was then transported to China [and] in an arbitrary and seemingly vindictive judgment…was sentenced to life in prison by Chinese officials in October of 2005, on accusations of engaging in terrorism activities. He has served 40 months to date in a heavily guarded prison cell in [the town of] Hanyang, [in Hubei Province] and continues to suffer from medical conditions that have been ignored by prison officials," CAA added.
Peng reportedly suffered from chronic kidney stones since first being diagnosed in 1984. CAA said it has learned that since his imprisonment, he developed "a severe case of kidney stones that have contributed largely to the rapid degeneration of his heath."
In addition, in April of 2005, while incarcerated, the rights activist reportedly suffered a massive heart attack. “He received no medical treatment from prison staff [yet] miraculously Mr. Peng survived this episode and continues to recover from behind bars," CAA said.
However, "These and other health issues are compounded by prison officials who continue to afflict Mr. Peng with sleep deprivation, and malnourishment. Peng Ming has been without proper medical attention for more than three years to date," CAA explained.
Before his imprisonment, Peng worked as the Chief Strategist and Administrator of the independent Modern China Development Strategic Studies Research Institute, apparently raising the eyebrows of Chinese officials.
He also embraced Christianity while in the US and was reportedly baptized in 2002 at the evangelical Forerunner Church and became an active member of Harvest Holy Ground Church in San Francisco, California
"Peng has been a peaceful advocate of freedom, democracy and human rights for the People’s Republic of China for several years until his recent arrest," CAA added.
UN officials, as well as members of the United States Congress and the administration of President George W. Bush have expressed concern about the situation and urged the Chinese government to release Peng. Chinese officials have so far refused to comply. They have consistently denied human rights abuses.