by Steven Ertelt
September 20, 2005
Linyi, China (LifeNews.com) — Several Chinese population control officials in Linyi have been arrested or fired after reports surfaced that they were involved in forced abortions and sterilizations. The surprising actions came after a local advocate who exposed the problems was detained under house arrest for 30 hours.
An official Chinese media outlet reports that the abuses were taking place in the eastern province of Shandong. Chen Guangcheng, the detained activist, told Time magazine in an interview before the arrest that 7,000 area people had been sterilized against their will.
China’s National Population and Family Planning Commission said it had received "successive complaints" about the sterilizations and abortions in Linyi, a city of 10 million people 400 miles southeast of Beijing.
"Some persons concerned in a few counties and townships of Linyi did commit practices that violated law and infringed upon legitimate rights and interests of citizens while conducting family planning work," the commission said in a statement.
Yu Xuejun, NPFPC spokesman, said "Initial investigation indicates illegal family planning practices that violate people’s legal rights and interests do exist."
"Those who are responsible have been dismissed from duty. Some are under investigation, some in detention. Further measures will be taken by government departments concerned according to legal competence and procedure," he said.
Guangcheng told Reuters that couples having more than the one child allowed by Chinese law were subjected to the sterilizations and women having a third child were forced to have abortions.
When he was arrested, Chen, a 34 year-old blind peasant had been preparing a class-action lawsuit challenging abuses in his eastern hometown.
President Bush on Monday decided to revoke funding for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for a fourth time because of the international agency’s involvement in supporting China’s population control program.
"This decision means that this organization will not receive the $34 million earmarked for its activities by Congress for the current fiscal year," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.
The president first revoked funding for the pro-abortion agency in 2002 and has continued to call on UNFPA officials to end their involvement in China’s programs and to ask the Asian country to undertake new policies to curb human rights abuses.