Chen Guangcheng, the forced abortion opponent who escaped years of home detention for exposing China’s massive campaigns to abort and sterilize women without their consent, will give a speech this week.
The speech will mark the first public appearance for the Chinese activists since he was given permission to flee the country and come to the United States to escape persecution following his exposure of the abuses related to China’s enforcement of its controversial one-child-policy prohibiting most couples from having more than one son or daughter.
According to an AP report, Chen will speak on Thursday at the Council on Foreign Relations New York City, with the help of New York University law professor Jerome Cohen, who assisted Chen in China after he fled to the U.S. Embassy and has assisted him in obtaining a fellowship at New York University. The two have talked for years since Chen, a blind attorney, first came to the United States in 2003.
Since arriving in the U.S., Chen has stayed at faculty housing along with his wife and children and he has received medial treatment for injuries to his leg and foot and internal medical issues related to his malnourishment stemming from his home detention. Local Chinese officials generally prohibited him from receiving medical attention or leaving home to obtain good food during his confinement.
After arriving in the U.S., Chen thanked “especially friends in the media” and “common citizens of the United States who have expressed their support.”
“Acts of retribution in Shandong may not have been abated, and my rights to practice law have been curbed, and we hope to see in the future a thorough investigation into these event,” said Chen, who added he is worried about his nephew Chen Kegui, who was arrested after guards stormed his house following Chen’s escape from home detention.
“We should link our arms to continue in the fight for the goodness in the world, and to fight against injustice. I hope everybody works with me to promote justice and fairness in China,” he added.
“It’s as the Chinese saying goes: ‘Nothing in the world is difficult for one who sets his mind to it,’ ” he said.
Rep. Chris Smith, the pro-life Congressman who highlighted Chen’s plight in two hearings, says he is very worried about Chen’s family and associates in China.
“After years of enduring physical and psychological torture, imprisonment, and hate, the man, Chen Guangcheng, who defended Chinese women from the crime of forced abortion is finally free,” Smith said.
“Great human rights leaders are never separated from the noble causes they espoused. Think of Lech Walesa and Solidarity, Nelson Mandela and opposition to apartheid, Aung San Suu Chi and democracy in Burma. Chen’s cause is ending China’s One Child Policy and forced abortion,” said Smith. “Not all the Chens are free and safe, however. The Chinese government must immediately end its deplorable retaliation against Chen’s family and friends who remain in China.”
Chen had languished in a Chinese hospital since American officials reportedly agreed to a deal with Chinese leaders to allow Chen to come to the United States to study and escape the nation that imprisoned him and forced him to endure house arrest for years because he exposed and helped the victims of a massive forced abortion and sterilization campaign in his hometown of Linyi.
In China, Chen documented 7,000 such forced abortion cases, taking down the names and addresses of those women who were victimized, as well as the particulars of the officials who committed these crimes. That is why the Chinese Communist Party is so eager to silence Chen. Not only has he exposed their crimes against the Chinese people, he has at least the potential to generate massive protests against the brutal one-child policy.
The 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.
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“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 blind Chinese human rights lawyer, who caught the attention of the world over the past two weeks in his bid to escape house arrest in China by seeking help in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, testified to Congress via telephone about his well-being and that of his family and brave supporters Tuesday at a hearing held by Congressman Chris Smith,a New Jersey Republican.
“Chen Guangcheng is among the bravest defenders of women’s rights in the world,” Smith said. “Chen defended thousands of women from the ongoing, most egregious systematic state-sponsored exploitation and abuse of women in human history — pervasive forced abortion and involuntary sterilization as part of China’s one child per couple policy — and has suffered torture, cruel and degrading treatment, unjust incarceration, and multiple beatings as a result.”
Smith added: “The sheer magnitude of this exploitation of women has been largely overlooked and trivialized by many — and even enabled. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has for over 30 years supported, defended, and whitewashed the crimes against women and children Chen struggled to expose. That’s why President Reagan and more recently President Bush defunded the UNFPA. In an indefensible reversal, the Obama Administration has provided approximately $165 million to the UNFPA.”