Chinese Authorities Assault Forced Abortion Activist, His Attorneys

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 5, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Chinese Authorities Assault Forced Abortion Activist, His Attorneys Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 5, 2005

Dongshigu, China ( — A Chinese activist who blew open a scandal involving population control staffers who forcibly aborted or sterilized thousands of people in Linyi, China has been beaten and left to die on a street after facing weeks of house arrest. Chen Guangcheng, a 34 year-old blind Chinese activist, was found in Shandong province.

Chen was attacked Tuesday in the village of Dongshigu, in the eastern province of Shandong, according to a Wednesday news report on Radio Free Asia.

The radio news service says local residents found Chen and they indicated local officials were guilty of the attacks that also injured three pro-life attorneys trying to help Chen.

The attorneys were hoping to meet Chen and mediate a settlement with authorities, who had been surrounding his house for weeks and preventing others from helping Chen.

Chen blew open the forced abortion and sterilization scandal in August when he conducted an interview with Time magazine. He provided details of some 7,000 people who had been victimized by population control officials.

Chen may be charged with passing on government secrets because of the interview. Authorities have cut off his phone lines to prevent him from contacting anyone, set up roadblocks leading to his house, and posted guards at train stations to watch for people who may try to help him escape.

The interview made the human rights abuses an international sensation and provided President Bush additional reasons for cutting off taxpayer funding to the UNFPA again.

American attorney Jerome Cohen, teaching in Beijing, said "Chen is not permitted to show his face at the door to his courtyard."

Cohen, who was able to talk to Chen before his phone was cut off, told the London Financial Times that Chen sounded "very desperate."

"The preferred outcome is the central government will wake up and call off the hound dogs down there," says Cohen. "He’s certainly not free and his family has been threatened."

Some of Chen’s supporters have staged hunger protests but the situation has gone largely unreported in China’s official media.

When asked for comment by the Financial Times, one local family planning official said of Chen’s situation, "It’s none of your business."