NRL News

Movie Star beaten when he attempts to meet Chinese man who exposed forced abortion in Chinese province

by | Dec 16, 2011

By Dave Andrusko

The irony no doubt is lost on Chinese authorities, not known for their subtly. “Batman” star Christian Bale has starred in a just released movie partly funded by the Chinese government, “The Flowers of War,” that “the Beijing regime is heavily promoting in hopes it’ll earn China its first Oscar,” according to the Daily Beast.

Instead a PR black eye when Bale is attacked Thursday by security guards when he tried to visit Chen Guangcheng, the blind legal activist, who was imprisoned for four years on trumpeted up charges after he exposed China’s systematic campaign of coerced sterilization and forced abortion in Linyi City in 2005. Chen has been under house arrest and watched round the clock by the government ever since he was released in September 2010.


“What I really wanted to do was to meet the man, shake his hand and say what an inspiration he is,” Bale told CNN, which accompanied Bale to  Dongshigu Village in eastern China. Instead of a peaceful visit a confrontation began almost immediately as Bale approached an impromptu checkpoint when four men blocked the narrow path and “started marching toward him in menacing unison,” according to CNN.

After announcing his intentions to visit Chen, Bale and his party were told by plainclothes guards to “Go away!” Dozens more guards intervened and after Bale repeatedly asked, “Why can I not visit this free man?” he was punched by the guards “as they tried to drag him away from the rest of us.” If that weren’t scary enough, “A precarious scene ensued Thursday as one of the gray minivans chased our car at high speed on bumpy country roads for some 40 minutes.”

Blinded by a childhood disease, Chen Guangcheng began his legal advocacy career in 1996. “Decades later, when local villagers started coming to him with their stories of forced abortions and forced sterilizations, Chen and his wife Yuan Weijing investigated and documented these stories, later building briefs and lawsuits against the officials involved,” according to pro-life Congressman Chris Smith. Their efforts gained international news media attention in 2005, “and it appears that this was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Smith in a hearing last month. He explained,

“Officials began a barbaric campaign against Chen and his family in  2005, and over the years have subjected them to beatings, extralegal detention, numerous violations of their rights under criminal procedure law, confiscation of their personal belongings, 24-hour surveillance and invasion of their privacy, disconnection from all forms of communication, and even denial of education for their six-year old daughter.

Chen Guangcheng served over four years in prison on allegedly trumped up charges and was officially released in September 2010. However, the abuse he and his family have faced has only worsened. Concern about Chen’s health and well-being is growing worldwide, and numerous activists and journalists have made attempts in the past few months to visit Chen’s village, only to face large groups of hired thugs who savagely beat them and steal their belongings.

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Categories: China