China Aid Association
|Chen Guangcheng and his family|
(Washington, D.C. – Feb. 9, 2011) In the first news of blind human rights activist Chen Guangcheng in five months, ChinaAid on Wednesday obtained an exclusive video showing the persecution he and his family are suffering at the hands of the Chinese government, which has put him under illegal house arrest since his release from prison.
ChinaAid founder and president Bob Fu, who is currently in D.C., immediately arranged to meet on Wednesday afternoon with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights Michael Posner and two deputy secretaries of state to discuss ways to end the persecution of Chen and Christian human rights lawyer Fan Yafeng by the Chinese government in violation of its own laws and disregarding its pledges to the international community to improve its human rights record.
The hour-long video shows that “Mr. Chen is living in miserable conditions, cut off from all outside contact, and detained illegally in his home,” Fu said. In the video, Chen describes being monitored daily by three shifts of agents with each shift consisting of 22 people.
The video was taken recently at Chen’s farm home in coastal Shandong province and was provided to ChinaAid by a reliable government source who is sympathetic to Chen’s cause and outraged by the treatment of Chen. He has requested anonymity for his protection.
The video can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2YB2EjRZso. Full translation will be available soon.
In the video, Chen and his wife Yuan Weijing, as well as their son Chen Kesi, appeal to the Chinese people and the international community to work together for a more equal China where there is justice and the rule of law. They also vow to continue their fight despite the extreme hardship and continuous brutal treat by the Chinese regime even after Chen’s release from unjust imprisonment.
Chen finished serving a four-year, three-month sentence on Sept. 9, 2010 for exposing the truth behind China’s family planning policy and its large-scale government practice of forced abortions and returned home to find himself subject to house arrest conditions. There has been no news from or about him since Sept. 13.
“Chen Guangcheng is a hero to many people around the world, a peaceful advocate for human rights and a defender of society’s most vulnerable, its woman and children,” said Fu, who is in Washington to discuss human rights and religious freedom with U.S. political and religious leaders. “The world community should act to secure his unconditional release. We cannot believe that China is serious about the rule of law when Chen Guangcheng, Gao Zhisheng and other rights advocates are jailed, disappeared, or harassed.”
Chen, a self-taught blind lawyer from the Linyi area of Shandong province, was imprisoned for exposing the violence used in enforcing the family planning policy in Linyi and providing legal assistance to peasants in 2005. In January 2007, he was found guilty of “intentional destruction of property and gathering a mob to disturb traffic” at a hearing from which his lawyer and witnesses were absent because the lawyer had been beaten up and the witnesses kidnapped so that they could not appear in court.
In 2006, Time magazine named Chen Guangcheng “one of the 100 people most influential in shaping our world.” He also was the recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Award and many other international human rights awards.
Since the fall of 2005, his wife has been under various forms of surveillance and has been beaten on several occasions. During the entire 4-1/2 years that Chen spent in detention and imprisonment, his wife was allowed to visit him only three times, even though Chinese law stipulates that prisoners get monthly family visits.
ChinaAid Association strongly denounces the Chinese government for its brutal persecution of the blind Chen Guangcheng and expresses its grave concern over the escalating tendency of the government to adopt mafia practices. We appeal to the international community to unite in urging the Chinese government to immediately end the illegal house arrest detention of Chen and Fan and their families, restore their basic civil rights and, in particular, guarantee their freedom and rights of movement, employment, worship, receiving medical attention and education.