Loading
Blind activist appeals to US over China's human rights abuses
Speaker Boehner greeting Chen Guangcheng. Credit: Bryant Avondoglio via flickr.com (CC BY-NC 2.0).
Speaker Boehner greeting Chen Guangcheng. Credit: Bryant Avondoglio via flickr.com (CC BY-NC 2.0).
By Adelaide Darling
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Blind Chinese human rights activist and lawyer Chen Guangcheng criticized China for its human rights abuses and asked that the United States holds the foreign country responsible for its actions.

During an April 9 testimony before a U.S. House subcommittee, Chen told legislators that “we cannot continue to tolerate the Chinese Communist authorities continuing to go back on their words and deceiving the international community at will.”

Through a translator, the activist described the persecution he suffered at the hands of the Chinese government for litigating against its widespread human rights abuses.

Blinded by a serious illness when he was young, Chen is a self-educated human rights attorney who spoke out against China's one-child policy and the coerced abortions and sterilizations that are often used to enforce it. His work attracted the anger of Chinese authorities.

Chen spent more than four years in prison and was subsequently placed under house arrest in September 2010. Both he and his family were held without formal charges, endured violent assaults and were refused medical treatment.

In April 2012, Chen escaped from house arrest and fled to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. He has since moved to the United States.

Since Chen’s escape and immigration to the U.S., several of Chen’s family members have been imprisoned and held under house arrest under false charges and authorities have tried to manipulate his family into cooperating with the Chinese government under threats of harsher sentencing and continued imprisonment.

During his testimony, Chen asked that the U.S. government “formally obtain from the relevant departments of the administrative authorities – and publish – the written and oral diplomatic agreements between China and the United States with regard to this incident of mine, including my letter to Premier Wen Jiabao that I wrote while I was in the U.S. embassy.”  

He also asked “the U.S. government to solemnly demand that the Chinese Communist leaders do as they promised,” in prosecuting Chinese officials who violated their own laws in imprisoning him.

The activist also implored U.S. officials to hold China to its commitment to protect his family.

Rep. Chris Smith (R- N.J.) chair of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights spoke on Chen’s case and other Chinese human rights abuses.

Smith commended Chen for his “brilliant mind, indomitable spirit and unimaginable courage,” for his work to end forced abortion “deemed a crime against humanity at the Nuremberg Nazi War Crimes Tribunal,” and for his attempts to help many to see that the rule of just and compassionate law wasn’t just for the privileged few, but for everyone.”

“It took a blind man to really see the injustice of a population control program that makes most brothers and sisters illegal and to hear the desperate cries of Chinese women,” Smith said.

“It took a blind man, the great Chen Guangcheng, to open the eyes of a blind world to these human rights violations systematically inflicted on Chinese women.”   

Smith also introduced the work of “another brave extraordinary hero,” Gao Zhisheng, whose testimony was later given by his wife, Geng He.

“Mr. Gao is the quintessential example of a human rights defender,” Smith said, introducing Gao’s work against religious persecution in China. For his work, Gao was charged with “inciting subversion” and placed under house arrest.

Gao has also sent letters to the United States Congress calling “China’s birth control policy the largest genocide in the history of mankind,” and decrying other human rights abuses. For this, Gao has been detained and tortured for over 16 months.

Tags: Human rights, China

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
Oct
26

Liturgical Calendar

October 26, 2014

THIRTIETH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 22:34-40

Gospel
Date
10/26/14
10/25/14
10/24/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Ex 22: 20-26
Second Reading:: 1 Thess 1: 5C-10
Gospel:: Mt 22: 34-40

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
10/26/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 22:34-40

Homily
Date
10/26/14
10/25/14
10/24/14