China Aid Association
(Washington, D.C.–April 7, 2013) In what is likely to be a moving event, blind legal activist Chen Guangcheng is to appear on Tuesday before the same U.S. Congressional subcommittee that he testified to via cellphone nearly a year ago to appeal to the U.S. government for help in winning freedom for him and his family from Chinese authorities.
The hearing on Tuesday (April 9) of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights will be Chen’s his first personal appearance at a Congressional hearing since his dramatic escape from brutal and illegal house arrest last April and the subsequent high-stakes Sino-U.S. diplomatic negotiations he launched when he sought refuge at the U.S. embassy in Beijing.
In a dramatic move while those negotiations were ongoing, Chen spoke directly to the same House subcommittee via telephone from Beijing to appeal for help winning permission for him and his family to leave China and for the safety of family members still in China. Those two dramatic appeals were made via the cellphone of ChinaAid founder and president Bob Fu, who was invited to testify at the two special hearings on Chen’s plight.
This week’s hearing on “Chen Guangcheng and Gao Zhisheng: Human Rights in China” will also focus on the ongoing persecution and imprisonment of Christian human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, now in prison in a remote part of western China. His wife, Geng He, will also testify, as well ChinaAid’s Bob Fu.
They were invited to testify at the hearing by Edward R. Royce (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
The hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m., Tuesday April 9 in Room 2172 of the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C.
Media are welcome to contact Bob Fu to schedule interviews.
Also available for interviews will be the family of imprisoned Christian dissident Zhu Yufu, who was arrested while the Arab Spring revolutions were occurring in the Middle East and is serving his third prison term for promoting democracy in China. After suffering persecution because of their elder brother Mr Zhu Yufu’s dissident activities, the two younger sisters Ms Zhu Yanmin and Ms Zhu Xiaoyan as well as younger brother Mr Zhu Qiaofu escaped to the United States recently in order to advocate for Mr Zhu Yufu’s freedom. This will be their first trip to the nation’s capital.