As the world watches the plight of Chen Guangcheng and wonders whether President Barack Obama will have the United States offer him long-term diplomatic protection, documents Chen Guangcheng compiled place the focus squarely on why China subjected him to years of house arrest: brutal forced abortions.
Reggie Littlejohn, President of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, has released a compendium of Chen Guangcheng’s field notes about forced abortion and sterilization in China and the stories the blind attorney compiled are shocking, even for those familiar with the forced abortion abuses that take place as a result of China’s one-child policy.
“In the astonishment surrounding Chen Guangcheng’s extraordinary escape from house arrest, let us not forget why he was arrested,” Littlejohn told LifeNews. “In 2006, Chen exposed the Chinese government’s systematic, massive use of forced abortion and involuntary sterilization to enforce its “One Child Policy.'”
WRWF obtained a copy of Chen’s field notes and has released the first English translation of them.
“A member of Chen’s team, human rights attorney Teng Biao, drafted this 2005 investigative report into coercive family planning in Linyi City, Shandong Province,” Littlejohn explained. “The report contains extensive witness statements from cases Chen and his team were investigating before Chen was jailed.”
The report lists detailed accounts regarding:
· a woman forcibly aborted and sterilized at seven months;
· villagers sleeping in fields to evade Family Planning Officials;
· Family Planning Officials who broke three brooms over the head of an elderly man;
· Family Planning Officials who forced a grandmother and her brother to beat each other; and
· The use of quota systems and the practice of “implication” – the detention, fining and torture of the extended family of One Child Policy “violators.”
Chen’s notes on the forced abortion victim are heartbreaking but also striking in their detail, presenting concrete facts and information.
Zhongxia told us her story briefly. She had repeated it many times:
“The Family Planning Officials inserted an intrauterine device in me after I gave birth to two daughters. I worked in another city since then and didn’t go to the Family Planning Office for the pregnancy check. But I was pregnant accidentally again. The Family Planning Officials said I was in violation of the “Population and Family Planning Law of the Peoples Republic of China” and looked for me all around. On the lunar calendar November 9, 2004, they had a conversation with my mother and asked her to pay a deposit of 1,000 Yuan [$157]. My mother hid after that. [related]
“Two months later, they found my mother-in-law. They seized her and smashed her belongings. She was seized and released altogether three times. They did the same to my third elder brother’s wife. On February 19, 2005, they seized my elder sister’s husband (Yongjun Hu, from Beiyan Village, west of Liangqiu Town). He was detained in the town Family Planning Office for a whole week and beaten twenty-seven times. Later they seized my nephew (Qiang Li, 27 years old), his wife and his child Ranran (one year old). My nephew was beaten fourteen times. His toenail was trod down by a Family Planning Official’s leather shoes. After that they seized my uncle’s wife (Shaoxiang Zhu, from the same village as I) and my husband’s younger sister (she comes from another town).
“They seized all my relatives they could find. On March, 2005, they seized my younger sister Zhongyan Fang (pregnant with her first child for three months). Seven or eight Family Planning Officials pushed her into a car and detained her for a whole day. They set her free after she paid 1,000 Yuan. My younger sister’s mother-in-law was also seized for a whole week. They didn’t give her anything to eat or drink. She was released after she paid 1,500 as so-called “tuition fee” [a fee for the cost of detention].
“My younger sister’s father-in-law was detained when he went there to send food to his wife. He was beaten by six or seven people in the Family Planning office. He ran out after one day’s detention. Then my husband’s nephew, my third aunt and her husband (Kaifeng Liu) as well as her granddaughter (not even four years old), my fourth aunt (Deying Xue), my uncle’s wife were all seized. My uncle’s wife was beaten in the car with rubber sticks all the way to the Family Planning Office. They stamped on her with leather shoes. She lost consciousness several times. Her kidney was so injured that she couldn’t do any manual work until now (proven by the medical record prescribed by expert from people’s hospital of Fei county). They also seized my fifth elder brother’s wife’s younger sister (Xuelan Guo) and my third elder brother’s wife’s younger sister (Yufeng Chai).
“My third aunt’s husband phoned me: “If you don’t come back, your aunt will be beaten to death.” I was forced to go back on 31st, March. I was already pregnant for seven months at that time and was forced to inject an oxytocic drug. My baby was aborted one day later. I had ligation at 9:00 in the morning of April 13, 2005. They let my aunt go after that.”
“The Chen Guangcheng report makes clear: the spirit of the Red Guards lives on in China’s Family Planning death machine,” Littlejohn said. “WRWF released the names of the perpetrators of these crimes against humanity, so that they can be held accountable before the world.”
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Littlejohn says the situation with regard to forced abortions in China hasn’t changed much since Chen exposed the 2005 campaign against women in Linyi, his hometown.
“A photo of her full term baby floating in the bucket in which it was drowned circulated widely on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, eliciting widespread outrage,” Littlejohn noted. “In April 2011, Family Planning Officials stabbed a man to death when attempting to seize his sister for a forced sterilization.”
“In October 2011, a woman, six months pregnant, died during a forced abortion in Lijing County, also in Shandong Province,” she added.
“Chen may be safe for the moment, but the women for whom he risked everything are not. Forced abortion is not a choice. It is official government rape. Until women in China are free to exercise perhaps their most fundamental right – the right to bear children – the nation of China will not be free,” Littlejohn concluded.