ChinaAid Mobilizes International Effort to Aid Chen Guangcheng

Thursday, November 25, 2010

ChinaAid Association

(Photo: Chen Guangcheng's wife, Yuan Weijing, and daughter)

(SHANDONG -- November 25, 2010) In response to the worsening plight of blind human-rights activist Chen Guangcheng and his family, ChinaAid Association is mobilizing an international effort to draw attention to their current situation. They have been under constant harassment and Chen is in dire need of medical assistance.

ChinaAid founder and president Bob Fu said on November 25 in an interview with Radio Free Asia that ChinaAid has contacted government officials in the U.S., the U.K. and the E.U. to alert them to the worsening persecution and health of Chen since his release in September. Chen was served a sentence of four years and three months on trumped up charges.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague has been asked to contact the International Red Cross to send medical personnel to Chen, who has not been allowed to seek any medical attention since his release from prison.

ChinaAid directly contacted important Members of Parliament (MPs) in Great Britain, the office of Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ), and the European Commission -- especially the members in the European Parliament who have closely followed Chen’s case.

“We hope everyone will pay close attention to Chen Guangcheng’s case and work hard together with one voice so as to bring about improvements to his situation,” Fu said.

Chen, whose human rights activism dates back to 2005, was released from prison on September 9, but the suffering he endured at the hands of Chinese authorities was not over. He was sent home under close surveillance of authorities, and his home has been surrounded by dozens of people forming a blockade several layers deep.

Neither Chen nor his wife have been allowed to step foot outside their home, and their five-year-old daughter has not been permitted to go to school. This is despite Chen’s terrible bouts of diarrhea and his weakened condition, which now includes blood passing.

The entire family is forced to depend on the 78-year-old grandmother, the only family member with freedom of movement of any kind. She has been allowed to buy groceries and to harvest produce from the family fields under close watch of the guards.

Local police and thugs can force their way into Chen’s home at any time and threaten his life. On September 20, they entered Chen’s home and stayed for six hours.
Local authorities have installed instruments that block cell phone signals around Chen’s home. Since September 24, cell phone communication has been completely blocked.  Even Chen’s relatives had their cell phone services cut.

Chen, 39, who lost his sight as a child, came to the attention of Chinese authorities in 2005 when he exposed the violence used by local authorities in Linyi, Shandong province in enforcing the one-child policy.

Chen, who is self-educated in law, helped women who had been subjected to forced abortions or forced sterilizations to file lawsuits. In January 2007, with his defense lawyer beaten up and his witnesses kidnapped to prevent them from testifying on his behalf in court, Chen was sentenced to four years and three months in prison on the charge of “intentional destruction of property and inciting a mob to disrupt traffic.”

In a further perversion of justice, the three months he had already served in prison before his sentencing were not deducted from his sentence, as is the usual practice.

Meanwhile, Chen’s wife Yuan Weijing has been placed under various types of surveillance since the fall of 2005. She has also been beaten several times.

In 2005, Time magazine named Chen one of the 100 most influential people in the world, and he has also won other human rights awards.

After learning that official persecution against Chen had continued after his release from prison, ChinaAid wrote to several U.S. congressmen asking that officials from the U.S. Embassy in China be sent to see the situation first-hand.

On Oct. 25, 12 senior congressmen signed a joint letter to U.S. Ambassador to China Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. requesting an official Embassy delegation be sent to visit Chen. The 12 congressmen include the chairman and co-chairman of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the House of Representatives and several important congressmen on the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.

Fu has also been in touch with Prof. Jerome Cohen of the New York University School of Law, a well-known human rights champion who has closely watched Chen’s case and has met with Chen many times.

“Professor Cohen has on many occasions, including during his visits to China, mentioned the inhumane and brutal treatment Chen Guangcheng is subject to now,” Fu said. “When I met Professor Cohen in New York last July, he expressed his indignation over the persecution Chen Guangcheng suffers.

“The hooliganism the Chinese government authorities have adopted and the increasing tendency to use immoral tactics has aroused people’s indignation. Therefore, the international community needs to redouble its efforts.”

Please listen to the Bob Fu’s interview with Zhang Min of Radio Free Asia ( in Chinese):

China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985