China Activist Against Forced Abortions Will be Put on Trial Next Week

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 10, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

China Activist Against Forced Abortions Will be Put on Trial Next Week Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 10, 2006

Washington, DC ( — An activist who has been arrested, beaten and had his family detained in their home for bringing international attention to a local city’s campaign of forced abortions is scheduled to be on trial next week. Chen Guangcheng will be tried on Monday on trumped up charges of destruction of property and assembling a crowd to disrupt traffic.

Chen, a blind attorney, got in trouble with local officials last year when he exposed the nightmare events of forced abortions and sterilizations in Linyi in interviews with Time Magazine and the Washington Post.

Local family planning officials had forced as many as 10,000 women to submit to abortions or sterilizations.

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 and his wife and 70 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.

After the house arrest ended, Chen, and others who were helping him file a class action lawsuit against Linyi officials, protested his treatment. Linyi police arrested him and indicted him under the faked charges.

He has been detained at an undisclosed location ever since and Linyi police have placed Chen’s mother, wife and child under house arrest.

"There isn’t much hope," said Chen’s wife, Yuan Weijing, told the Washington Post via telephone from their home.

"Everything that has happened runs counter to Hu Jintao’s talk of democracy and governing by law. We live in a nation without law, a nation without morality," she explained.

Top U.S. officials have pressed the Chinese government to release Chen, but national officials have not intervened. Linyi officials, in late May, prevented two senior U.S. diplomats from trying to visit Yuan.

Li Jinsong, an attorney who has been working with a group of lawyers to defend Chen, has only been allowed to meet with Chen once and was prohibited from discussing the case with him.

Linyi officials, Li said, have been trying to keep national leaders from learning about what is happening there, he told the Washington newspaper.

"They’re afraid of information getting out," Li, who has received deaths threats, said. "They don’t want the leadership in Beijing to know the truth about what’s happening there."

Linyi officials have persuaded some top Chinese leaders that Chen’s efforts are supported by overseas groups and they successfully lobbied the Foreign Ministry and the powerful Propaganda Department to ban any discussion of Chen’s case in the state media or on the Internet.

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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