The poignant moment unfolded before the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, which has been holding hearings this week about human-rights abuses in China.
"I'm the daughter of a Chinese political prisoner," Ti-Anna Wang calmly told the large meeting hall this week. "I wish to use my family's experience to draw this council's attention to the situation of human rights in China."
Wang, a Montreal-born McGill University graduate, has been a tireless campaigner for her father, Dr. Wang Bingzhang, who was given a life sentence in 2002 after trying to foster democracy in China from abroad.
The hearings were part of the UN's periodic review of the rights records of member states, and this continuing review has sparked complaints from Beijing that the process has been unfair.
"He is the father of the overseas China democracy movement," said Montreal Liberal MP Irwin Cotler, a respected human-rights advocate who has also worked for Wang's release.
"He is, in a sense, the poster child for the China democracy movement."
Wang said her father was abducted in Vietnam, while travelling, and brought to China.
"He was tried, falsely convicted, and sentenced to life in prison. It's now been 12 years, and my father is still behind bars, in solitary confinement," said the 24-year-old woman.
Wang said she wanted to express her "sincere gratitude" to the Chinese government for the recent transfer of her father to another prison, where she said his treatment and conditions had improved significantly.
"But still, my heart is broken from the last 12 years of my father's imprisonment," Wang said, before she was cut off by the Chinese representative to the council.
The Chinese delegate said he objected to Wang's statements. He said Wang should not be allowed to address specific cases, such as her father's, but should only be allowed to speak generally about human rights.
The representatives of Cuba, Pakistan, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia offered their support.
The United States and Britain defended Wang's right to speak, and were backed by France, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
Canada did not enter the fray.
The American delegate, who led Wang's defence, said it "was essential that civil society voices be heard here in an atmosphere of open expression."
UN Watch, a Geneva-based, non-governmental human-rights group, had invited Wang to speak in a time slot reserved for such agencies.
The council chair ruled that Wang could continue speaking, and she did.
"More painful is that the authorities have punished me for the advocacy work that I have done on my father's behalf," she said.
"For the past five years, they have banned me from visiting him. This year, they stopped delivering my letters."
Wang said she had come to Geneva to make two requests.
She asked China to recognize her father as someone who also loves his country and wants to join the government and "partner in nurturing China's progress."
And she asked the council "to call on China to release my father, and all other prisoners of conscience."
Cotler travelled to Geneva last month to join an international campaign to get China kicked off the 47-country rights council.
"The idea that the violators of human rights should be the judges of human rights violations is a scandal," said Cotler.
"Yet another ongoing scandal has been Dr. Wang Bingzhang's false imprisonment, torture in prison following the initial illegal abduction."
Cotler said he hoped China would release Wang as the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre approaches this spring. Wang has suffered a series of strokes, and his parents have died while he has been behind bars.
At the very least, Wang's daughter should not be denied visitation, Cotler said, but it would be "a proper and symbolic release for him to finally be reunited with her" before the June anniversary of the violent Chinese crackdown on student protests.
Wang named his daughter Ti-Anna to honour the memory of those who died in Tiananmen Square during the pro-democracy spring.
In the council's report on China, Canada offered a handful of recommendations, including one that calls on the People's Republic to release all people in "administrative detention for political reasons including bishops, priests, artists, reporters, dissidents, people working to advance human rights, and their family members, and eliminate extra-judicial measures like forced disappearances."Suggest a correction