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Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.

-- Matthew 25:40, NIV

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Government Retaliation Continues, Foreign Journalists Mistreated in Wake of Smuggled Video by Blind Activist Chen Guangcheng

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

China Aid Association

(Midland, Texas–Feb. 15, 2011) ChinaAid Association on Tuesday Feb. 15 released the following statement about the continuing Chinese government retaliation triggered by the release overseas of a secret video made by blind human rights activist Chen Guangcheng.

ChinaAid has learned that in the past 72 hours several foreign journalists and other visitors attempting to see and interview the family of Chen Guangcheng, in Dongshigu village, Linyi county, Shandong province, have been mistreated and even beaten.

“The events today are reminiscent of the China of the Cultural Revolution and are not worthy of the new, globally-engaged China,” said Bob Fu, president of ChinaAid. “The international community should condemn these actions with one voice. China cannot be a trusted partner until journalists are free to pursue their newsgathering activities and to report the facts freely and lawyers like Chen Guangcheng are free to defend the vulnerable.”

Three journalists from two French newspapers and a radio station were stopped by guards hired by the government when they tried to approach Chen’s home, at Dongshigu village of Yinan, Linyi, of Shandong province, to on foot on Sunday who pushed and shoved them, then took their press cards, keys to their vehicles and the memory cards to audio recorders. Two reporters from The New York Times were also attacked by guards, who also confiscated press cards and electronics and destroyed a laptop. For more details, go to http://www.chinaaid.org/2011/02/many-foreign-reporters-trying-to-visit.html. According to a reliable ChinaAid source, German reporters and reporters from CNN also have had similar experiences.

A Chinese netizen, Gao Xingbo from Zhejiang, was beaten severely after he managed to enter Chen's village. A friend who was speaking by cellphone with Gao heard him being beaten by guards and heard his “bloodcurdling shrieks.” Afterwards, he was thrown into remote field about 15 miles away from Chen's village by security officials.

Last Thursday and Friday, authorities held Chen’s older brother, Chen Guangfu, for two continuous days of questioning about the channels through which the video was smuggled out. He was also threatened by the authorities.

These events were triggered by the Feb. 9 release by ChinaAid of an hour-long video message from Chen and his wife, Yuan Weijing, who have been subjected to extra-judicial house arrest by government authorities who have posted guards 24/7 around Chen’s house since he returned home Sept. 9, 2010 after serving his full prison sentence. Chen was jailed for single-handedly exposing the systematic use of forced abortion in implementing China’s one-child policy. Chen, a blind self-taught lawyer, documented the fact that in just one year in one single county, 130,000 forced abortions and involuntary sterilizations were performed. The county was Linyi, Shandong Province, and the year was 2005.

Chen’s work has not gone unnoticed by the world. Time Magazine named him in its list of “2006’s Top 100 People Who Shape Our World,” in the category of “Heroes and Pioneers.” In 2007, he was awarded the Magsaysay award, known as Asia’s Nobel Peace Prize.

For more details, see www.chinaaid.org.

ChinaAid, which was founded in 2002 to draw international attention to China's gross human rights violations against house church Christians, monitors and reports on religious freedom violations in China. Drawing on a wide network of sources throughout the country, ChinaAid issues frequent news releases on cases of religious persecution in China. The Midland, Texas-based organization also assists victims of religious persecution to assert their rights and works to promote the rule of law in China.

ChinaAid has earned an international reputation as a reliable source of the most up-to-date information about religious persecution and the overall human rights situation in China. Fu has testified before many government and international organizations, including various U.S. congressional committees, the European Parliament and the U.N. Commission on Human Rights.

China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Email: r.ritchie@chinaaid.org
Website: www.chinaaid.org