A deal secured on Friday that had China allowing forced abortion opponent Chen Guangcheng to submit an application allowing him to possibly leave the country to come to the United States has taken much of the focus off of his tenuous situation. But significant concerns remain.
Chen told the Associated Press today he is confident China will uphold its end of the bargain and allow him to apply and approve the application for him and his family to travel to the United States to study at New York University.
“Since the Chinese government has promised to safeguard my constitutionally provided rights and freedom and safety, I feel that they will fulfill their commitments because it is, after all, an agreement between two countries,” Chen said, with AP describing him as “more relaxed and optimistic than on Friday morning before details of the deal were announced.”
Chen remains at a Beijing hospital in order to receive treatment for a fractured leg he sustained in his daring escape from home detention at the hands of family planning and Communist Party officials upset that he exposed a massive forced abortion and sterilization campaign in his hometown of Linyi. He told AP he has received help from hospital officials in completing the paperwork necessary for the Chinese government.
“I entrusted the hospital with telling the relevant people or department that I have asked them to handle it on my behalf, because I am lying on the bed and I can’t move and my friends can’t come and see me, so what can I do? I can only ask them,” he said.
Vice President Joe Biden said in a Sunday interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the Chinese should honor the agreement to allow Chen to come to the United States, saying U.S. officials “expect the Chinese to stick to that commitment.”
Meanwhile, new reports are surfacing showing Chen had a severe case of gastroenteritis when he entered the embassy, as U.S. officials are providing more explanation on how they handled his case.
While Chen is confident about his own fate, he is less assured about the fate of his nephew Chen Kegui, who had been detained by Chinese officials after fighting guards who swarmed his house in the aftermath of their learning Chen had escaped. In a clash he had with officials in the Chen family’s village of Dongshigu in Shandong he defended himself with a knife and reportedly injured one or more of the guards.
The London Guardian reports that Chen Kegui is being investigated.
The nephew previously said he stabbed one of the intruders in an act of self-defense. His lawyer, Liu Weiguo, who is being closely monitored by the police, said he was unable to talk freely about the case, which was still under investigation, but he feared the arrests of family members could hinder Chen’s departure.
“It is hard to know how the local authorities will act as they do not seem to behave rationally,” Liu said. “But if more family members are arrested, it will be less likely that Chen can go abroad. Maybe he will end up stuck in China.”
Chen said he was unaware of his nephew’s condition, but his own experience in Linyi had taught him to fear the worst.
“My nephew certainly can’t be in good condition in their hands. He’ll certainly be tortured there … The public security organs, procuratorial organs and people’s courts are absolutely lawless in Shandong province.”
In a daring rescue attempt, human rights campaigners helped Chen escape his home confinement and took him to an, at the time, undisclosed location in Beijing — reportedly the U.S. Embassy. Leading pro-life campaigners and human rights groups are concerned that if Chen is not protected, Chinese officials may illegally detain him and send him back to prison, home detention or may take his life.
China’s state-run media initially said absolutely nothing about the daring escape Chen Guangcheng made from his house arrest, where family planning and Communist Party officials had kept him detained at home for exposing forced abortions. Other media outlets have glossed over the forced abortion components of Chen’s imprisonment and house arrest.
What is not in dispute is the fact that the Chinese government has subjected men and women to forced abortions, sterilziations, home detention and imprisonment, taken away their jobs and benefits and fined them for violating the nation’s one child policy. As the world watches the plight of Chen Guangcheng and wonders whether President Barack Obama will have the United States offer him long-term diplomatic protection, documents Chen Guangcheng compiled place the focus squarely on why China subjected him to years of house arrest: brutal forced abortions.
Reggie Littlejohn, President of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, has released a compendium of Chen Guangcheng’s field notes about forced abortion and sterilization in China and the stories the blind attorney compiled are shocking, even for those familiar with the forced abortion abuses that take place as a result of China’s one-child policy.
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“In the astonishment surrounding Chen Guangcheng’s extraordinary escape from house arrest, let us not forget why he was arrested,” Littlejohn told LifeNews. “In 2006, Chen exposed the Chinese government’s systematic, massive use of forced abortion and involuntary sterilization to enforce its “One Child Policy.’”
WRWF obtained a copy of Chen’s field notes and has released the first English translation of them.
“A member of Chen’s team, human rights attorney Teng Biao, drafted this 2005 investigative report into coercive family planning in Linyi City, Shandong Province,” Littlejohn explained. “The report contains extensive witness statements from cases Chen and his team were investigating before Chen was jailed.”