Activist Chen Guangcheng to Testify in Congress for First Time

International   Steven Ertelt   Apr 9, 2013   |   11:27AM    Washington, DC

Chen Guangcheng, the activist who exposed massive forced abortion campaigns carried out by Chinese family planning officials, will testify today in front of Congress for the first time.

Chen, who won his freedom in a daring night-time escape from Chinese secret police in 2012, will testify in person for the first time before Chairman Chris Smith’s global human rights subcommittee in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The hearing will also focus on Gao Zhisheng, a well known jailed human rights lawyer in China.

Bob Fu, Founder and President of the ChinaAid Association, which helped Chen escape and has placed significant international focus on the forced abortion problem will also testify.

Chen’s testimony will come before the same U.S. Congressional subcommittee that he testified to via cellphone nearly a year ago to appeal to the U.S. government’s help to win freedom for him and his family from Chinese authorities.

Fu said he is excited for the hearing because it “will be Chen’s his first personal appearance at a Congressional hearing since his dramatic escape from brutal and illegal house arrest last April and the subsequent high-stakes Sino-U.S. diplomatic negotiations he launched when he sought refuge at the U.S. embassy in Beijing.”

“In a dramatic move while those negotiations were ongoing, Chen spoke directly to the same House subcommittee via telephone from Beijing to appeal for help winning permission for him and his family to leave China and for the safety of family members still in China.,” he said.

Those two dramatic appeals were made via cell phone with Fu’s help.

The hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m., Tuesday April 9 in Room 2172 of the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C.

Last week, President George W. Bush met with Chen his wife Yuan Weijing, and their son and daughter at his private club at the Bush Institute.

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Before the event, Chen and his family were honored at ChinaAid’s annual banquet, where he received the 2013 “Defender of Freedom Award.” Chen also participated in an online talk, where he discussed how pervasive the forced-abortion one-child policy is in China.

Chen said 130,000 women in his home region of China alone were victims of forced abortions and another 600,000 family members, friends and neighbors have been arrested for hiding and helping these pregnant women.