China Aid Association
Photo: Gongmin Weiquan Wang. www.gmwq.org
(HONG KONG — Dec. 7, 2006) A leading rights activist from the eastern Chinese
province of Shandong says a law enforcement official tried to arrange
for him to be tortured at his detention center where he was awaiting
trial, but that his jailers flatly refused to do it.
Guangcheng, who was sentenced to four years and three months’
imprisonment in August after he blew the whistle on forced abortions
and other abuses by family planning officials in his home county of
Yinan, spoke extensively of his experience behind bars during an
interview with his lawyer, broadcast exclusively by RFA’s Mandarin
He told lawyer Li Jingsong: “In late
July, a certain individual — either from public security or the
judicial branch — came to the detention center and ordered that I be
In late July, a certain individual — either from
public security or the judicial branch — came to the detention center
and ordered that I be tortured
order was flatly rejected by detention center officials. The force of
justice will prevail,” Chen said, adding that he had met other
officials who were privately sympathetic to his case, which was
overturned on appeal to the Linyi Municipal Intermediate People’s Court
in late October.
Chen said he was delighted that his case had been sent back to the lower court for retrial.
Aug. 28, presiding judge Wang Jun [from the Yinan district level court]
paid me a visit. The first thing he said to me was, ‘Chen Guangcheng,
you should not regard everyone as bad. Someday the truth about your
case will be known to the whole world.'”
“And so I asked
him why he did what he did if he was clear about where the truth of the
matter lay. He said it was because the communists were still in power,”
Chen said, adding that Wang had admitted that the initial verdict
against him had been due to ‘extrajudicial factors’.
Chen Guangcheng works with fellow activists. Photo: Cai Chu.
told him that what motivated us to join the rights campaign was our
confidence in democracy, the rule of law, and government policy. But
the fact that they feel they can resort to any tactics — including
depriving you of the right to defend yourself and to appeal a verdict —
it just shows that they have a much darker view of the system. We have
a fundamental faith in the system. We ask the government to fulfill its
promise to the people,” Chen said.
work as a self-trained legal advocate on behalf of women suffering
forced abortions and other abuses at the hands of Yinan county family
planning officials has earned him praise among socially aware netizens
But it has also drawn him months of house
arrest, surveillance, beatings, and harassment by local officials and
the unidentified men they hire as heavies.
On Nov. 30, the Yinan county court upheld its original verdict and sentence against Chen.
told the outside world from his detention cell: ” I am still engaged in
the rights campaign. Don’t worry about me. Think of it as if I have
embarked on a long journey. My resolve has not been shaken. I will
never give up.”
Original reporting in Mandarin by
Ding Xiao. RFA Mandarin service director: Jennifer Chou. Written for
the Web in English by Luisetta Mudie, and edited by Sarah Jackson-Han.
China Aid Contacts
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