Monday, 4 July 2011

CHINA: #ChenGuangchen - Blind Activist Tortured & Beaten Unconscious #TBofBTT #solidarity


FROM: Bob Fu, President, China Aid Association
Reggie Littlejohn, President, Women’s Rights Without Frontiers
Request for Immediate Medical Release
DATE: June 19, 2011


Blind activist Chen Guangcheng’s health is in serious jeopardy.  According to a letter from Chen’s wife obtained by China Aid on June 15, the Nobel Peace Prize nominee’s health has continued to deteriorate since his fierce torture in February, after which he was denied medical treatment.  He is now in a severely weakened state.  China Aid and Women’s Rights Without Frontiers issue this urgent action appeal that Chen be immediately released from China to receive critical medical attention in the United States.

Self-taught, blind lawyer Chen Guangcheng exposed the widespread use of coercion in the implementation of China’s One Child Policy.  Specifically, he uncovered the fact that there were 130,000 forced abortions and involuntary sterilization in Linyi County, Shandong Province, in 2005.  Time Magazine named him in its list of “2006’s Top 100 People Who Shape Our World,” in the category of “Heroes and Pioneers.”  In 2007 he was awarded the Magsaysay award, known as Asia’s Nobel Prize. 

The Chinese Communist Party sentenced him to four years and three months in jail.  His defense lawyers were detained and unable to attend his trial.  His wife and children were subjected to harassment, surveillance and confinement during the duration of Chen’s imprisonment.  Released in September 2010, he is now under strict house arrest.  Both in prison and under house arrest, Chen has been tortured severely and denied medical treatment.  He was released from prison with a chronic, debilitating intestinal illness for which he has been allowed no treatment. 

 A video featuring Chen was leaked to the China Aid Association Wednesday, February 9, 2011.  In this video, Chen encouraged his fellow citizens to stand up for human rights.  Chen and Yuan also described the conditions of their house arrest:  A total of 66 security police surround their home day and night.  Their telephone and internet access have been severed. They suffer from a lack of food.  No one can enter or leave their home, except officials, who can enter at any time, without notice. 

Chen and Yuan were “beaten senseless” and denied medical treatment in connection with the release of this video, and denied medical treatment.  Security forces appear to have intimidated their entire village.  According to a Radio Free Asia report, a woman attempting to visit Chen said, “No one in this village will speak a word about [Chen] . . . None of the villagers I spoke to, nor the police, was even willing to utter his name.”

In February 2011, lawyers scheduled a meeting to discuss how to help Chen.  Several lawyers and rights defenders were placed under house arrest, preventing them from attending this meeting.  Lawyers who did attend the meeting, including Jiang Tianyong and Teng Biao, were detained or placed under house arrest.  Authorities grabbed Jiang by the neck and smashed his head against the wall.  Foreign journalists have been prevented from entering Chen’s village.  CNN released a video of men pushing a journalist and throwing rocks at him to prevent him from entering Chen’s village.

On June 15, 2011, China Aid obtained an undated letter from Yuan, in which she gives further details about the torture and abuse she and Chen have endured:
 They beat and tortured my husband Chen Guangcheng and me for more than 2 hours . . . More than 10 men covered me totally with a blanket and kicked my ribs and all over my body . . . I saw more than ten men surrounded Chen Guangcheng, torturing him. Some of them twisted his arms forcefully while the others were pushing his head down and lifting his collar up tightly.

 Yuan’s letter also states that the police sealed their windows with sheets of metal, seized their computer, confiscated their books, stole Chen’s blind cane, and grabbed toys belonging to their young daughter. Her letter expresses anguish over Chen’s health:

Guangcheng’s mother is closely followed and physically monitored by 3 men every day, step by step, even when she works in the farm’s field. After mid-March, she was not allowed to go out even for buying vegetables. Therefore our daily life has gotten too hard to survive. Besides, Guangcheng’s health condition got worse. The blood from his diarrhea turned to dark instead of red as before. That is why I am so worried.


The governments of the free world should unite to protest to the Chinese government for Chen's brutal treatment and urge the Chinese government to immediately arrange medical treatment for Chen Guangcheng and his wife Yuan Weijing

The governments of the free world should unite to negotiate an exit strategy for Chen and his family to be allowed to leave China for medical reasons

The United States Ambassador, and other Ambassadors, should visit Chen
Citizens of free nations should call and write Chinese embassies and consulates and sign the petition to Free Chen Guangcheng:

        Links to latest reports by two major news agencies:
          Letter Alleges Beating of Chinese Activist and Wife

           By the  Lifesitenews Report

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