by Steven Ertelt
January 6, 2006
Linyi, China (LifeNews.com) — A blind Chinese attorney and activist who exposed a forced abortion and sterilization scandal in the city of Linyi is still under house arrest and has been beaten twice by thugs hired by local officials.
Chen Guangcheng has been under house arrest in his one-story brick home for four months. Since September, Chen and his wife and 71 year-old mother have been prevented from leaving his home. The officials have cut his telephone lines and used specialized equipment to prevent him from using his cell phone.
Chen has been beaten twice when he’s attempted to leave and attorneys and supporters who have taken up Chen’s case have been attacked as well.
Only Chen’s older brother is allowed to visit, and the three survive just on food provided to them by the hired guards.
Chen was able to speak with a reporter from Reuters on his cell phone when power went out in the community, preventing the line jamming device from being used.
"China is lawless," the 34-year-old activist told Reuters. "They’re worried I will expose more of their crimes."
While Linyi officials appear to be behind his house arrest, Chen wondered whether China’s national political leaders knew about his situation or the problems there.
"Do (President) Hu Jintao and (Premier) Wen Jiabao know? If they know, why have they not done anything?" Chen asked.
According to Reuters, 30 people are still guarding Chen’s around the clock in shifts. Chen has been denied medical treatment and the thugs dragged Chen’s wife back into their house when she tried to go out.
Chen’s freedom was restricted and he was arrested from a hiding place in Beijing by Linyi officials who say he provided "intelligence" to foreigners. That refers to his meeting with reporters from Time Magazine and the Washington Post to expose the atrocities of a forced abortion and sterilization campaign there.
In the few months before he spoke with reporters, Chen said 7,000 women had been forcibly aborted or sterilized. Anyone who attempted to flee was apprehended, beaten, and held hostage in city prisons until their relatives came forward and paid large fines for their release.
Linyi is a city of 10 million people 400 miles southeast of Beijing.
ACTION: Contact China’s embassy in the United States and encourage officials there to help Chen Guangcheng. You can find contact information at https://www.china-embassy.org/eng/sgxx/dfzygy/t44338.htm
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