by Steven Ertelt
July 5, 2007
Beijing, China (LifeNews.com) — The wife of a jailed activist against forced abortions showed up in the Chinese capital city on Wednesday to beg national officials to let her husband Chen Guangcheng out of prison. Chen was jailed after being convicted of bogus property destruction charges after exposing forced abortions.
Chen, a blind attorney, had been preparing a lawsuit on behalf of thousands of women in the eastern city of Linyi who were victims of forced abortion and sterilizations when he was arrested.
After two trials, which saw his attorneys and key witnesses prevented from attending, Chen was sent to prison for four years for destroying property in a protest he never attended.
Since his imprisonment, Chen has been beaten by fellow prisoners at the urging of guards and had his head completely shaved to humiliate him.
For his 30-year old wife to get to Beijing, Yuan Weijing faced an arduous task.
She continues to be under house arrest by local Linyi officials who were embarrassed by the international outcry about their campaign to enforce China’s one-child family planning policy. The brutal forced abortion campaign began when the city barely missed its family planning quotas.
She talked with the Washington Post about her endeavor to get to Beijing.
"I left secretly. A friend found a taxi for me and another friend brought our nearly 2-year-old daughter out to meet us. From Linyi we took a long-distance bus for 10 hours, arriving at Beijing at 5 a.m.," she said.
She said she climbed three walls, ran across a field and hid in a friend’s house to start her journey to the capital.
"I have been worrying about my husband, Chen Guangcheng, since I saw him June 19 in prison. I wish I could do something to help him," she told the newspaper.
"I’d like to try to find a solution where he can come home," Yuan added. "I’d like to pressure prison officials to explain their definition of how a blind man can take care of himself in prison."
She also told the Post that she is allowed to see her husband just once a month, which has made it difficult to help him prepare his legal appeal. Because she remains outspoken about his treatment, she indicated they may cancel her July visit.
Meanwhile, political activist Hu Jia told the Post that national officials have rewarded one local party member who directed the campaign against Chen.
"All the officials in Shandong think Chen has damaged the reputation of the province by talking to the media," Hu said. "The local police are also very worried about unrest by people who were forced to have abortions and sterilizations, so they have tried to make an example out of him."
The campaign of forced abortions and sterilizations in that part of China has been so rampant that Yuan told the Post some women and other residents continue to ask her for her husbands help, even though he’s in jail.