Chen Guangcheng – China

Linked with Prison for Chen Guangcheng – China.

Added Sept. 11, 2006: another reporter, Ching Cheong, Hong Kong, is jailed for 5 years, and Gao Zhisheng recently retained for questioning. (See Newsweek of Sept. 11, 2006, page 4).

He says: “Someone has to fight for people with no voice, I guess that person is me.”

Blind Social Activist, Lawyers Beaten in China: HONG KONG—A social activist who blew the whistle on official abuses under China’s one-child policy in the eastern province of Shandong was beaten by local officials Tuesday, while lawyers attempting to mediate with local government were set upon by unidentified thugs, residents and lawyers said. Chen Guangcheng, who is blind, was left bleeding from his injuries on the main street of his native Dongshigu Village following clashes between villagers and local officials, a local resident told RFA’s Mandarin service. The clashes were sparked after the arrival of three out-of-town lawyers—Xu Zhiyong, Li Subin, and Li Fangping, who were hoping to meet with Chen and mediate between the activist, who is under effective house arrest—and local authorities, an eyewitness said. Chen was escorted from his home to where the lawyers had been prevented from entering the village, by around 20 fellow villagers from Yinan County, near Shandong’s Linyi City, where around 60 people were waiting, including government officials. (Read the whole article on RFA Radio Free Asia).

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Chen Guangcheng – China

He works – in a one man’s movement – for the right for women not to abort their child.

Chen Guangcheng, a legal activist who had worked to document abuses of China’s birth limitation policies, stood trial in Beijing on August 18th without benefit of his lawyers. The three members of his defense team were detained by Chinese authorities on charges of theft. Although the three were later released, their detention prevented them from representing Mr. Chen at the time of his trial. They were replaced by two state-appointed attorneys who were not familiar with his case and reportedly did little more than ask the court for mercy because Mr. Chen is blind. (Read Trial Of A Chinese Activist, August 24, 2006).

… A native of China’s eastern Shandong province, the self-schooled legal activist came to Shanghai to publicize the plight of women who had been forced to undergo abortions or sterilizations as part of the nation’s family-planning campaign. China has tried for more than two decades to lower its population through its “one-child” policy, but the coercive measures used in Shandong’s Linyi region are now illegal. By publicizing abuses committed by local bureaucrats, Chen believed he could persuade higher-level officials to step in and stop them … // … Just hours after our interview, Chen was detained by security officials, who had traveled hundreds of miles from Linyi to Beijing. For the next six months, he was kept under virtual house arrest. Despite the harassment, which included several beatings, he remained hopeful: the State Family Planning Commission in Beijing admitted publicly that Linyi officials had broken the law. Chen kept in contact with foreign journalists through cell phones that friends and family smuggled in for him. Last September I wrote a story for TIME about forced sterilizations in Linyi. The magazine subsequently named Chen to its annual list of the world’s 100 most influential people. After trying to leave his village without official permission last March, Chen was arrested again. The local police finally announced in June that he was being held on charges of damaging property and organizing a mob to disturb traffic. (Witnesses on the scene dispute the allegations.) In previous years, a plea from the U.S. State Department might have helped get a Chinese political prisoner released. But foreign pressure has less effect these days, in part because the international community holds little leverage. China is the world’s factory. It holds bountiful foreign-currency reserves. It will be host to the Olympics in 2008. The balance has shifted from China’s feeling as if it needs the world to the world’s needing China. (Red the whole article on TIME od August 27, 2006).

A Blind Man with Legal Vision: He may have lost his sight as a child, but Chen Guangcheng’s legal vision has helped illuminate the plight of thousands of Chinese villagers. Last year officials initiated a forced abortion and sterilization campaign against women in Shandong province who were deemed ineligible to bear another child under China’s strict family-planning policy. Even though national regulations prohibit such brutal measures, no one except Chen was willing to confront local officials, who may have felt that lowering the number of extra births would help their political careers. By filing a lawsuit on the women’s behalf, he became a hero in Shandong and an important player in China’s nascent civil society. Despite his pioneering legal efforts, Chen, 34, holds no law degree. When he was younger, the blind were prohibited from pursuing college degrees in China, so Chen could only audit law classes. But he learned enough to advise fellow villagers. Distraught citizens asked him last year if he could do anything about the coerced abortions and sterilizations. At least two women had been forced to abort their babies just days before their due dates. Chen traveled to Beijing to see what he could do. His drumbeat advocacy prompted the usually reticent State Family Planning Commission to call for the arrest of any officials who break the law. Yet three hours after meeting with TIME in Beijing to discuss the issue, Chen was shoved into an unmarked vehicle by public-security agents from his hometown. They bundled him back to his village, where he was held under house arrest for months. Despite the commission’s vow, only one official has been detained. Meanwhile, thugs routinely showed up at Chen’s home to rough him up. In March several dozen police arrived to take Chen away, and he hasn’t been seen since. But the people of Shandong haven’t forgotten the blind man who let the world see their tragedies. (Read the whole article on TIME).

Chen Guangcheng is a renowned human rights defender in Linyi City, Shandong Province. He was arrested by the authorities on the evening of March 11, 2006 and has been missing for over 20 days. His older brother Chen Guangfu has appealed for urgent attention from the outside world during an interview with The Epoch Times on April 1. He earnestly hopes for help from lawyers. When a reporter called the Shuanghou Town Police Station, town mayor Zhu Hongguo and the Yinan City Public Security Bureau, they all claimed no knowledge of this. (Read the whole article on The Epoch Times).

And an article about in Japanese.

Die Lage von Menschenrechtsverteidigern in China wird immer prekärer. Sie schweben in ständiger Gefahr, willkürlich inhaftiert, in unfairen Gerichtsverfahren zu mehrjährigen Gefängnisstrafen verurteilt, im Gefängnis misshandelt oder auf offener Straße tätlich angegriffen und drangsaliert zu werden. Folgende drei Beispiele zeugen von diesem eklatanten Misstand. (Siehe alles unter Amnesty International).

links:

China: Chen Guangcheng is prisoner of conscience;

U.S. Slams China Over Jailing Blind Activist;

The Dragon’s teeth.

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