China Aid Association
(Midland, Texas–April 3, 2013) ChinaAid presented blind Chinese lawyer Chen Guangcheng with its second annual “Religious Freedom and Rule of Law Defenders Award” Tuesday night to honor his years of work in defending human rights in China, most significantly in opposing the violent measures used to forcibly enforce the one-child policy.
Chen ‘s wife and son and daughter were on hand for the 2013 award presentation at ChinaAid’s annual banquet in Midland, Texas.
“Chen Guangcheng, his wife Yuan Weijing and his whole family have paid a heavy price for their great contribution in protecting and advancing life and liberty for millions in China,” said ChinaAid founder and president Bob Fu. “We are proud of to be part of the fight for these honorable causes with the Chen family and many other freedom fighters in China like Chen. Until China achieves true freedom and the rule of law, we will continue to stand with Chen and never rest.”
Chen is a self-taught lawyer from rural Shandong province who has long been an advocate for the voiceless and who is best known for exposing massive abuses in China’s family-planning policy, which is often enforced through violence and forced abortions and sterilizations.
In 2005, he captured international headlines for organizing a class-action lawsuit against the Shandong city of Linyi for its violent enforcement of China’s one-child policy. As a result of this lawsuit, Chen was placed under house arrest from September 2005 to March 2006, and was formally arrested in June 2006.
In August 2006, Chen was sentenced to four years and three months in prison. After Chen was released from prison in September 2010, he remained under house arrest at his home, where he and his family were subjected to repeated beatings and constant surveillance.
In April 2012, Chen escaped house arrest and fled to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. After a tense month of negotiations, in which ChinaAid played a critical role, Chen and his family were allowed to leave the country in May. They travelled to New York City, where they now reside while he pursues further legal studies and writing a book scheduled for release later this year.
Last year, ChinaAid presented its inaugural “Religious Freedom and Rule of Law Defenders Award” to Dr. Fan Yefang, Dr. Teng Bao, and attorney JiangTiangyong, for their work in defending religious freedom in China.