Chinese Court Upholds Decision Targeting Forced Abortion Opponents Wife

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 19, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Chinese Court Upholds Decision Targeting Forced Abortion Opponents Wife

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 19
, 2008

Beijing, China ( — On Friday, a Chinese court upheld a decision by Beijing authorities to prohibit the wife of a leading opponent of forced abortions there from leaving the country. Yuan Weijing had hoped to be in the Philippines in August to accept an award for her husband.

Yuan is married to Chen Guangcheng, a blind attorney whom Chinese officials jailed for preparing a class action lawsuit defending more than 10,000 women in Linyi who became victims of forced abortions and sterilizations.

Chen exposed the barbarism to the world in interviews with American media outlets and he was detained by local officials afterwards and sent to prison on bogus charges.

Since the imprisonment, Yuan has been confined to her home and followed anytime she leaves.

Human Rights in China notified about the recent decision and said it is "deeply concerned" that Chinese authorities continue to misuse the law to persecute Yuan.

After the decision to prevent Yuan from accepting a human rights award on Chen’s behalf, she filed a lawsuit against it.

HRIC tells that when the court heard Yuan’s lawsuit on May 5, it held the hearing behind closed doors, and Yuan was unable to attend because she was confined to her home by local authorities.

The court closed the hearing, HRIC sources confirmed, on grounds that the case involved “state secrets,” including Yuan’s status as a criminal suspect, and the invalidation of her passport.

Yuan plans to appeal the court ruling and those decisions about her and her passport.

Human Rights in China director Sharon Hom commented on Yuan’s situation.

“Politicizing the law, especially by invoking the vague and broad state secrets law as the basis for targeting activists and their families, is simply unacceptable,” she said.

“Particularly during this pre-Olympics period, when the eyes of all the world are on China, the authorities must stop the ongoing harassment of Yuan Weijing and investigate those responsible," Hom added.

“The authorities cannot deny Yuan’s right under international human rights law – including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – to freely leave and return to her country simply by labeling her a ‘criminal suspect’ without any foundation,” Hom explained.

Hom said Yuan lives under the strict surveillance of more than 10 men and her son has been sent away to live with grandparents, and she has not been allowed to visit her husband for eight months.

At the time of the 2007 decision barring her from traveling to the Philippines, she was reportedly beaten, her passport was revoked, and she was forced to return to her home in Shangdong Province.

The Beijing Municipal Chaoyang District People’s Court issued the ruling in the case.

Chen is serving a sentence of four years and three months for “intentional damage of property” and “organizing people to block traffic.”