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Rep. Christopher Cox (R-Calif.) comforts Christina Fu, whose husband has been held captive in China for 13 months, during a news conference Wednesday.

Fu’s husband, 39-year-old Yang Jianli, a mathematician and economist who lives in Brookline, Mass., demonstrated in Tiananmen Square in 1989 and was subsequently barred from China. When he used a friend’s passport to return in April 2002, he was detained after eight days and has not been free since. He was charged with using fake identification and has not been allowed access to his family or attorney.

Yang heads the Foundation for China in the 21st Century, a Boston-based group advocating nonviolent democratization in China.

Officials organized the news conference, held on the 14th anniversary of the uprising at Tiananmen Square, to announce a decision by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention that Yang is being illegally detained.

China called the U.N. ruling “groundless.”

Also pictured are Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Rep. Mike Capuano (D-Mass.) and Jerome Cohen, a professor of law at New York University.

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