China Attorney Who Helped Forced Abortion Opponent Detained and Beaten

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 25, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

China Attorney Who Helped Forced Abortion Opponent Detained and Beaten Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 25
, 2008

Beijing, China ( — An attorney who helped forced abortion opponent Chen Guangcheng has been detailed by officials and was beaten, a human rights group says. Human Rights in China has learned that Shanghai attorney Zheng Enchong was arrested again on February 20 after several days of harassment by police and unidentified thugs.

Zheng was released in the evening, but while in detention he was beaten by an unidentified person, the group told

Sources in China told HRIC that Zheng was arrested because he spoke out in recent media interviews with Western news outlets about the lack of human rights in the Asian nation.

Zheng was wounded as a result of the beating and plans to sue the officials he thinks were behind it, but his lawsuit isn’t expected to go far.

"Flouting growing international criticism in the lead-up to the Olympics, the message sent by Chinese authorities is clear: freedom of expression does not encompass any unapproved media interviews, despite new, widely-touted media regulations," HRIC director Sharon Hom told

"If China is serious about rule of law, it must immediately cease the crackdowns on and detentions of lawyers and legal advisors, including Zheng Enchong, Chen Guangcheng [and others]," Hom added.
HRIC also called on Chinese officials to release some of the political prisoners it is holding such as Chen.

Chen, who exposed a brutal forced abortion campaign in Linyi involving thousands of women, has been jailed for months following an illegal trial which saw him convicted on trumped up charges and his attorneys detained.

This isn’t the first time Zheng has encountered problems with officials who don’t like the victims he helps.

He was arrested in June 2003 for "illegally providing state secrets outside the country," and was released in June 2006 after a three-year sentence.

Since his release, Zheng and his family have faced ongoing harassment and monitoring by the police. All this, however, has not stopped him from continuing to provide legal support to people like Chen.

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