NRL News

Chen Expresses Confidence Chinese Authorities will go through deal to allow him to study abroad

by | May 8, 2012

Blind Chinese pro-life activist Chen Guancheng is seen in a wheelchair pushed by a nurse in a Beijing hospital


By Dave Andrusko

Depending on which of four or five different stories in Monday’s Washington Post you read, you would come away with very different assessments about the fate of blind pro-life activist Chen Guangcheng. Assurances (for what those are worth) that Chen will be allowed to come to the United States with his family to study must be seen in light of his “crime.”

It cannot be emphasized enough that Chen embarrassed and angered the Chinese government by exposing its systematic use of forced abortion and involuntary sterilization to enforce China’s coercive “One Child Policy.”  He was sentenced to more than four years in jail on  trumped up charges and was under house arrest in rural Shandong province for 19 months before a daring escape April 22 which culminated with Chen surreptitiously arriving at the American Embassy in Beijing. That escape (in which he broke three bones in his foot) garnered worldwide attention to his plight and that of his family and supporters, making the Chinese government even more angry.

If after reading stories that were composed yesterday, you went on line and read an Associated Press story the Post carried, you’d have that same very uneasy feeling. According to the AP, Chen was much more relaxed and optimistic today than Friday when he told The Associated Press that he was in a “dangerous situation” because he had not been able to meet with American officials for two days.

“Since the Chinese government has promised to safeguard my constitutionally provided rights and freedom and safety, I feel that they will fulfill their commitments because it is after all an agreement between two countries,” Chen told the AP.

But a few paragraphs down we learn that  “Chen’s nephew Chen Kegui had been detained as part of a criminal investigation into a clash he had with officials in the Chen family’s village of Dongshigu in Shandong,” according to a report from the Voice of America.  The AP reported Monday morning,

“Several officials reportedly broke into Chen Kegui’s home last Thursday after discovering his uncle had fled house arrest. Chen Kegui brandished knives and slashed at them, inflicting injuries, according to an earlier local government statement. Chen Guangchen told AP that his nephew had acted in self-defense after officials jumped over the wall and broke into his family’s courtyard in the middle of the night armed with wooden sticks.”

Chen also said that the lawyer who had volunteered to represent his nephew had been threatened not to take the case and his movements curtailed by authorities. “I am extremely worried my nephew will be subjected to severe torture in their hands,” Chen said.

If that weren’t enough to cast suspicions on the authenticity of the “deal” to allow Chen to study abroad, Chen’s friends and supporters (as well as American officials) have been barred from visiting Chen in the hospital. as well as Chen’s friends and supporters from visiting him in the hospital.

See “Chen Makes Appeal from Hospital Bed by Phone to Congressional Panel” to learn more about Chen’s heroic efforts to publicize and prevent forced abortions and forced sterilization in China and about Chen’s dramatic testimony Thursday to the Congressional-Executive Commission on the People’s Republic of China.

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