Rights groups appeal for freedom, medical treatment for ailing blind activist in China
Chen Guangcheng, a blind lawyer who was imprisoned on trumped up charges after exposing China’s inhumane forced abortions as a result of its one-child policy, is badly in need of medical treatment.
China Aid and Women’s Rights Without Frontiers have joined forces to call for the immediate release of Chen and his family so that he can get badly needed medical treatment immediately.
Chen and his wife have been harshly beaten relentlessly, and Chen’s elderly mother and five-year-old daughter have been treated cruelly (see http://theundergroundsite.com/index.php/2011/06/letter-from-wife-of-chinese-blind-activist-reveals-graphic-details-of-torture-16345/).
A petition by Women’s Rights Without Frontiers was sent to China’s president Hu Jintao and its prime minister Wen Jiaobao requesting Chen’s release from house arrest and asking that he receives appropriate medical care as a free man.
The letter says, “On February 9, 2011 Chen released a video describing the deplorable conditions of his house arrest. The next morning, Chen and his wife, Yuan Weijing, were “beaten senseless.”
“We, the undersigned, are deeply concerned for the suffering and brutal treatment of Chen and his family. We call upon the Chinese government to free Chen from house arrest immediately and to get him the medical care he so urgently needs,” the letter said on its website.
“Chen’s wife sounded the alarm in a letter recently smuggled out of China. She said that Chen’s health is very fragile and worsening every day because of beatings, malnutrition and an intestinal illness,” Reggie Littlejohn, President of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, stated.
“She is worried about his survival. Chen sacrificed everything to tell the world the brutal truth about forced abortion in China. He is a warrior for women’s rights. Now it’s our turn to sacrifice on behalf of Chen by fighting for his freedom.”
China Aid also slammed China’s treatment of Chen. Bob Fu, president, said, “The abuse of Chen Guangcheng is unconscionable and contrary to the rule of law. His mistreatment under house arrest is deplorable, including beatings, constant surveillance, as well as confiscation of his computer, cell phone, books, his blind cane and the toys of his young daughter.”
Both China Aid and Women’s Rights Without Frontiers are lobbying for help from the international diplomatic community to intervene with the Chinese government on behalf of Chen.
They are also calling on concerned citizens to write to the embassies and consulates in their countries anywhere in the world on behalf of Chen.
Chen was cited by Time Magazine in 2006 as among the Top 100 People Who Shape Our World. The following year, he was awarded the 2007 Magsaysay award, which is considered to be the Asian equivalent of the Nobel Peace Prize, for exposing the ills that are offshoots of China’s one-child policy.
Chen revealed that 130,000 abortions and sterilizations were enforced in Linyi County alone in 2005, against the wishes of the mothers. He was then imprisoned for four years and three months.
Although he was released in September 2010, the act seemed to be mere window dressing as house arrest has been no better than jail, and a video released by Women’s Rights equated the entire village, this time, as his prison.
Under house arrest Chen and his wife have been “beaten senseless,” are kept away from all contact with the outside world, are not permitted to have enough food, are constantly under watch even in their own home, and all their possessions have been taken away, including personal photographs and the toys of their children.
Those who wish to sign the petition may go to http://www.womensrightswithoutfrontiers.org/index.php?nav=chen-guangcheng#petition.