China Police Admit Having Activist Against Forced Abortion Policy in Custody

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 12, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

China Police Admit Having Activist Against Forced Abortion Policy in Custody

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 12, 2006

Beijing, China ( — Chinese police have admitted to having in custody an activist against the Asian nation’s forced abortion population control policy who has been missing for months. Chen Guangcheng was formerly under house arrest but had been missing without his family or human rights campaigners knowing his whereabouts.

Chen’s wife, Yuan Weijing, confirmed he had been arrested and taken into custody after police officials asked her to sign a document listing the charges against him. They include accusations that he intended to destroy public property and disrupt commerce and transport.

“The charges are groundless," Yuan told Asia News.

Teng Biao, an attorney helping Chen, said the blind 35 year-old man was “in the hands of county, not national, police” and “it’s possible he will be tried for these charges."

The Asia News reports that, according to Teng, Chen was arrested in March along with two of his cousins after enduring several months of house arrest.

Chen is credited with exposing a forced abortion and sterilization scandal in the city of Linyi where 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.

Chen met with reporters from the Washington Post and Time Magazine and reports of the scandal in Linyi made international headlines.

However, after the meetings, 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.

Chen and his wife and 71 year-old mother were under house arrest beginning in September last year. The officials 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.

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

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