Reports are emerging today that Chan Guangcheng, a prominent human rights activist who had led the fight against forced abortions under the one-child policy in China, may have been killed by Chinese officials.
Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, informed LifeNews today that ominous reports regarding blind lawyer Chen Guangcheng have emerged this week and, according to Radio Free Asia, Chinese authorities detained a group of at least nine human rights activists trying to visit Chen.
On Wednesday, many members of the group were cut off from communication and, according to a report by Canyu, Shandong authorities shot at these activists. Voice of America reports that villagers told it “Chen is dead already,” but the media outlet is attempting to verify that claim.
“We are alarmed at the report that villagers are saying that Chen is already dead,” Littlejohn told LifeNews. “If Chen is dead, then the Chinese Communist Party is fully responsible for killing him through torture, denial of medical treatment and slow starvation. If Chen is alive, we urgently demand that he and his family be released immediately and unconditionally, for medical evaluation and treatment.”
Bob Fu, President of the China Aid Association, commented as well, and said, “We are concerned about the report that authorities have shot at the activists trying to visit Chen.”
“These netizens display the same brave spirit that Chen has, and they should continue in their courageous attempts to see him,” he added.
Fu said Gao Zhisheng, another human rights lawyer, has disappeared as well.
“Gao and Chen are shining lights for human rights in China. Their shocking torture and Gao’s disappearance demonstrate the CCP’s willingness to trample on the rule of law,” Fu continued.
Chen exposed the systematic use of forced abortion and involuntary sterilization in implementing China’s One Child Policy. Time Magazine named him in its list of “2006’s Top 100 People Who Shape Our World,” in the category of “Heroes and Pioneers.” He has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Earlier this year, the House of Representatives unanimously approved an amendment to its appropriations bill that provides support for Chen Guangcheng, the blind attorney who has campaigned against forced abortions in China. Chen, as LifeNews.com has repeatedly profiled, was jailed for years after officials produced bogus charges. Since his release from prison, Chen and his family have been placed under house arrest and prevented from accessing the outside world and obtaining proper medical care. Human rights groups have been pressing Chen’s case with lawmakers in Congress and got help from pro-life Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey.
Smith proposed a successful amendment in support of Chen and his wife that lawmakers added to the State Department 2012 appropriation bill.
Chen exposed the fact that there were 130,000 forced abortions and involuntary sterilizations in Linyi County in 2005. The Chinese Communist Party imprisoned Chen for four years and three months and has kept him and his family under strict house arrest since September, 2010. His health has been declining because of malnutrition, intestinal illness, repeated torture and the denial of medical treatment.