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    Nine Commentaries on The Communist Party, the Epochtimes
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    Reporters Without Borders said in it’s 2005 special report titled “Xinhua: the world’s biggest propaganda agency”, that “Xinhua remains the voice of the sole party”, “particularly during the SARS epidemic, Xinhua has for last few months been putting out news reports embarrassing to the government, but they are designed to fool the international community, since they are not published in Chinese.”
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Archive for the ‘Chen Guangcheng’ Category

Chen Guangcheng, women rights

Blind Chinese Activist Chen Guangcheng Says China Can’t be Trusted

Posted by Author on May 23, 2013


LONDON: “Hindi-Chini bhai-bhai” may be the flavour in Delhi after the recent visit of Chinese premier Li Keqiang. However, a strong word of caution has come from one of China’s most wanted men Chen Guangcheng.

Chen, a blind activist who became an international hero after he became the first person to escape house arrest in Beijing for exposing forced abortions and sterilizations in the country and eventually slipping out of China to take refuge in US, told TOI in a rare interview that “Chinese government can’t be trusted. Chinese people aren’t like that but the government’s word can never be trusted. It is an authoritarian regime.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Activist, Chen Guangcheng, China, News, People, World | Comments Off on Blind Chinese Activist Chen Guangcheng Says China Can’t be Trusted

Snubbed by Cameron, Chinese Activist Chen Guangcheng Accuses UK of Kowtowing to China

Posted by Author on May 21, 2013


  • Chen Guangcheng is in UK to receive award for exposing ‘gendercide’
  • But request to meet with the Prime Minister has been snubbed
  • Human rights campaigner says David Cameron is kowtowing to Beijing

A blind anti-abortion activist forced to flee China after suffering years of torture and persecution has accused the British government of running scared from Beijing. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Activist, Chen Guangcheng, China, Human Rights, People, Politics, UK, World | 1 Comment »

Blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng urges U.S. no compromise on human rights

Posted by Author on January 29, 2013


Dissident Chen Guangcheng voiced confidence Tuesday that China’s political system will eventually open up as he urged fellow activists and the United States not to compromise on human rights.

In an address in the US Capitol complex, the blind self-taught lawyer offered his most philosophical remarks yet about China since he dramatically escaped house arrest last year and was allowed to leave for New York.

“There has never been a dynasty that was able to achieve longevity through forceful oppression,” Chen said, quoting a Chinese proverb that “if you carry the hearts and minds of the people, you will carry all below Heaven.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Activist, Chen Guangcheng, China, Human Rights, People, USA | Comments Off on Blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng urges U.S. no compromise on human rights

Support Growing for Blind Chinese Rights Activist Chen Guangcheng

Posted by Author on October 26, 2011


News about blind Chinese human rights activist Chen Guangcheng continues to trouble Chinese and international society.

Chen and his family have been under tight house arrest in their home in Dongshigu Village, Linyi County, Shandong Province since his release from prison over a year ago, with his young daughter Kesi prevented from attending school.

According to information on Twitter, authorities have finally allowed the child to attend a nearby elementary school as a result of public pressure and international attention.

At the same time, troubling rumors have surfaced in the village in early October that Chen may be dead.

An insider, who did not wish to be named, said that the “Free Guangcheng” movement on the Internet, and worldwide attention of Chen’s high profile case, have forced authorities in Linyi to allow Chen’s daughter to attend school. Under the escort of a guard, Kesi went to school on Oct. 16. Authorities also set up a temporary wooden shack at the school entrance to watch her.

He Peirong, a person concerned with Chen’s case, said she was glad about the decision to let Kesi go to school but hoped that the child will have a normal life and will not keep being escorted to and from school. She also hoped that authorities will openly report on Chen’s condition, his medical status and diet, and details about his daughter’s schooling.

Zeng Jinyan, wife of Hu Jia, an environmental and AIDS activist, said on Twitter that it was inappropriate and dangerous for a little girl to be escorted to school by a guard instead of her parent. Zeng referred to the daughter of missing attorney Gao Zhisheng, who was also escorted to and from school by police and suffered much humiliation. This created severe long-lasting mental problem for the girl.

In January and June, He Peirong visited Chen’s family in Dongshigu Village. She had her car smashed, was kidnapped and robbed.

Beginning Sept. 18, many other people, including some reporters, went to Dongshigu Village in groups. They were intercepted, beaten, and robbed.

These people wrote about their experiences on blogs and Twitter and gradually caught the public’s attention. Now there are many Chen supporters, include scholars, writers, businessmen, artists, and college students, according to He.

Meanwhile, Voice of America (VOA) reported on Oct. 5 that some villagers said Chen is already dead. Several media have picked up the news. VOA is attempting to verify Chen’s status.

Reggie Littlejohn, President of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers said in an Oct. 7 press release: “If Chen is dead, then the Chinese Communist Party is fully responsible for killing him through torture, denial of medical treatment and slow starvation. If Chen is alive, we urgently demand that he and his family be released immediately and unconditionally, for medical evaluation and treatment.”

Women’s Rights Without Frontiers and China Aid Association, among others, are leading an international effort to free Chen.

Chen, a self-taught lawyer and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, exposed the systematic use of forced abortion and involuntary sterilization as part of China’s One Child Policy. In August 2006, he was sentenced to four years and three months in prison where he was subjected to torture. After his release on Sept. 9, 2010, his family has been under house arrest that included beatings of Chen and his wife.

Time Magazine named Chen in its “2006 Top 100 People Who Shape Our World,” under the category of “Heroes and Pioneers.”

-Source: The Epochtimes

Posted in Activist, Chen Guangcheng, China, East China, Human Rights, News, People, Politics, Shandong, Social, World | Comments Off on Support Growing for Blind Chinese Rights Activist Chen Guangcheng

Chinese Officials Beat Activist Chen Guangcheng and His Wife, Group Says

Posted by Author on June 17, 2011


BEIJING — Details are emerging about the apparently brutal detention of one of China’s most important legal activists, the blind lawyer Chen Guangcheng.

Mr. Chen was released from jail last year after serving a 51-month sentence for disturbing public order and destroying public property — charges linked to his uncovering of forced sterilizations and abortions in the eastern Chinese city of Linyi.

But since his release, he has been under “ruanjin,” or “soft detention,” a kind of house arrest increasingly being used by the authorities to silence people who have not violated the law. The authorities once celebrated Mr. Chen, a 39-year-old self-taught lawyer, as a symbol of the country’s efforts to build a legal system, but they turned against him when he used the law to protest government abuse. Earlier this year, a video was smuggled out showing the circumstances of his detention. Reporters who tried to visit him were turned away by undercover police officers who had encircled his home. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Activist, Chen Guangcheng, China, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Politics, Social, World | Comments Off on Chinese Officials Beat Activist Chen Guangcheng and His Wife, Group Says

WSJ: China’s Hooligan Government

Posted by Author on February 19, 2011


Chairman Mao said that power grows out of the barrel of the gun, and Chinese authorities have never shied away from using violence against anyone who has stepped out of line. But this wet work was usually sanctioned by quasi-legal procedures and carried out far from the public eye—for instance in the country’s vast system of labor camps.

In recent years, however, thugs acting on behalf of various levels of government have begun openly attacking Chinese who dare to complain, as well as local and foreign journalists who record those grievances. This portends a breakdown in public respect for the state’s authority that will be self-defeating for the central government. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Activist, Chen Guangcheng, China, Commentary, East China, Human Rights, Law, Lawyer, News, People, Politics, Shandong, Social, World | Comments Off on WSJ: China’s Hooligan Government

Chinese Human rights lawyer beaten by police over secret video of his house arrest

Posted by Author on February 11, 2011


Reporters Without Borders, Feb 11, 2011-

A famous self-taught human rights lawyer and free speech activist, Chen Guangcheng, has reportedly been badly beaten by police for circulating a secretly-recorded video showing how he is being held under house arrest in his small farm in the eastern province of Shandong.

He is said to be confined to his bed as a result of the injuries received in the beating but has not been able to receive any medical treatment. His wife, Yuan Weijing, was also beaten. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Activist, Chen Guangcheng, China, East China, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, News, People, Politics, Shandong, Social, World | Comments Off on Chinese Human rights lawyer beaten by police over secret video of his house arrest

Exclusive Video Shows China’s Ill Treatment & Illegal Detention of Blind Activist Chen Guangcheng

Posted by Author on February 10, 2011


China Aid Association-

(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. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Activist, Chen Guangcheng, China, East China, Human Rights, News, People, Politics, Shandong, Video, World | Comments Off on Exclusive Video Shows China’s Ill Treatment & Illegal Detention of Blind Activist Chen Guangcheng

Chronology of Blind Chinese Lawyer Chen Guangcheng’s Case

Posted by Author on November 13, 2010


Human Rights Watch, November 13, 2010 –

Chen Guangcheng is a blind lawyer whom Chinese authorities have repeatedly persecuted for his role in exposing official abuses. Chen was arbitrarily detained in August 2005; his formal detention began on June 10, 2006. On August 24, 2006, he was sentenced to four years and three months in prison. Chen was released on September 9, 2010, after serving his full sentence, but following his release he and his wife were subjected to unlawful house arrest. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Activist, Chen Guangcheng, China, East China, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Politics, Shandong, Social, World | Comments Off on Chronology of Blind Chinese Lawyer Chen Guangcheng’s Case

Extreme Measures Used by China to Control Blind Rights Defender Chen Guangcheng

Posted by Author on November 2, 2010


Human Rights in China, Nov. 2, 2010 –

Human Rights in China (HRIC) has learned more details about the restrictions placed on Chen Guangcheng (陈光诚), the blind Shandong-based rights defender who was released from prison on September 9, 2010. Chen and his wife, Yuan Weijing (袁伟静), are not allowed to leave their home, and no one – not even Chen’s mother – has been allowed to visit the couple since early October. Currently, measures similar to martial law have been imposed by the authorities in Chen’s village, Dongshigu, Shandong Province.

Yang Lin (杨林), a Shenzhen-based rights activist, told HRIC that in late October he was blocked from entering Dongshigu when he tried to visit Chen. Villagers told him that the authorities have mobilized more than a hundred people to control the four entrances to the village and monitor Chen’s family around the clock. According to Yang, several security cameras have been installed inside and outside Chen’s home. At night, bright lights mounted outside their home, reaching their bedroom, stay lit.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Activist, Chen Guangcheng, China, East China, Human Rights, Law, Life, News, People, Politics, Shandong, Social, World | Comments Off on Extreme Measures Used by China to Control Blind Rights Defender Chen Guangcheng

China: Phones Blocked for Blind Activist’s Family In the Run-up to the Paralympic Games in Beijing

Posted by Author on September 6, 2008


Radio Free Asia, 2008-09-04-

Gongmin Weiquan Wang.

Blind human rights activist Chen Guangcheng. Photo: Gongmin Weiquan Wang.

Phone service for relatives and associates of a jailed blind activist is curtailed before the Paralympics open.

HONG KONG— In the run-up to the Paralympic Games in Beijing, people close to a prominent jailed blind activist have suddenly found their access to telecommunications limited.

The wife of Chen Guangcheng, a human rights lawyer currently serving a four-year jail term, said her cell phone service is often cut off in the middle of calls.

“I recently discovered that from Aug. 30 my cell phone could be disconnected at any time, and that I am not alone—other cell phone users in our village have experienced the same problem,” Yuan Weijing said.

“Sometimes I can get through, but I don’t know when it might drop…Most of the time [my brother-in-law’s] cell phone shows no signal during the day,” she added.

Chen received a four-year, three-month sentence after documenting abuses by family planning officials during the 1980s and 90s. He is currently detained at Linyi Prison in China’s eastern province of Shandong.

In a statement, the advocacy group Reporters Without Borders condemned the Chinese authorities’ apparent bid to prevent foreign journalists who will cover the Paralympics from getting in touch with those close to Chen.

Under Chinese law, he may seek parole halfway through his jail term, and Yuan recently appealed her husband’s case.

Constant surveillance

Yuan has been under constant surveillance since Chen was detained in June 2006. She said earlier that ahead of the Olympics Games as many as “40 people working two shifts” were keeping tabs on her.

One villager said Yuan, currently under house arrest, and her family are under close watch by scores of people and no one can get in.

“Her phone has been cut off and she has been tailed too,” said the villager, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Attempts to contact Yuan as recently as Sept. 2 have failed. A recorded message informs callers that Yuan’s telephone number isn’t working.

Li Fangping, Chen’s lawyer in Beijing, said his cell phone had been experiencing similar problems. He speculated that government officials may be wary of the handicapped activist creating a stir ahead of the Paralympics, which open Friday.

“Authorities may be concerned that Chen’s case would draw world attention,” Li said.

In January, a German television crew was denied access to Yuan’s home by the Yinan county Public Security Bureau.

Paperwork appealing for Chen’s parole will soon be delivered to prison officials, Li said.

– Original: Radio Free Asia

Posted in Activist, Beijing, Chen Guangcheng, China, house arrest, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Politics, Social, World | Comments Off on China: Phones Blocked for Blind Activist’s Family In the Run-up to the Paralympic Games in Beijing

Reporters Without Borders Condemns China Regime On the First Day of the Chinese New Year

Posted by Author on February 8, 2008


Reporters Without Borders, 7 February 2008-

There are just six months left until the opening of the Beijing Summer Olympics. The world’s biggest sports event will get under way in the Chinese capital on 8 August. The Chinese authorities gave very specific promises in 2001 in order to win the games for Beijing. They said the holding of the games would “help improve human rights” and that there would be “total press freedom” before and during the games.

None of this has happened. About 80 journalists and Internet users are currently imprisoned in China. Some have been detained since the 1980s. The government blocks access to thousands of websites and the cyber-police watch Internet users closely. A total of 180 foreign reporters were arrested, attacked or threatened in China in 2007.

There are no grounds for claiming that the situation has improved. The number of journalists imprisoned in China in 2001 was 14. Currently there are 32 journalists and more than 50 cyber-dissidents and Internet users in prison in China. The overall number of political prisoners runs into the thousands.

The International Olympic Committee and the sponsors of the Olympic Games meanwhile remain silent, thereby discrediting the Olympic values.

We do no think it is too late to get people released. There was evidence of this just two days ago, when the Hong Kong-based journalist Ching Cheong was freed two years before completing a five-year sentence. Some journalists, many well-known figures and even the authorities in Hong Kong had long been pressing for his release.

The repression is continuing without any let-up, sidelining all those who dare to call for concrete improvements before the start of the games. Blogger Hu Jia, for example, is being held on a charge of “inciting subversion of state power” despite an international outcry. He is facing the possibility of a long prison sentence. Human rights activist Wang Guilin, who took part in a campaign with the slogan “We want human rights, not Olympic Games,” has just been sentenced to 18 months of reeducation through work in northeastern China. But IOC president Jacques Rogge keeps silent. And the Chinese government condemns attempts to politicise the games.

Families, the forgotten victims

Today, the first day of the Lunar New Year, Reporters Without Borders would like to draw attention to the wives and families of imprisoned journalists and cyber-dissidents. As well as the financial problems they must face, they are often the victims of threats and sanctions. At the moment is that of Hu Jia’s young wife, Zeng Jinyan, who is under house arrest in Beijing with their three-month-old daughter. Zeng cannot leave their apartment or communicate with the outside world. One of their friends, Yuan Weijing, the wife of imprisoned human rights lawyer Chen Guangcheng, is permanently watched by the police and by thugs recruited by the local authorities who recently threw stones at a German TV crew trying to interview her.

The wives and partners of dissidents often lose their jobs. This has been the case with the partners of cyber-dissidents Yang Zili (held since 2001) and Ouyang Yi (held from 2002 to 2004). The wife and son of the publisher Hada, imprisoned in Inner Mongolia since 1996, have been subjected to all sorts of harassment. The son, Uiles, even served a two-year prison sentence for alerting international organisations about his father, who was given a 15-year jail term. The authorities refuse to give him ID papers as long as he “continues to create problems.”

Protest in Paris

Tomorrow, on 8 February 2008, Parisians will be invited to join Reporters Without Borders in condemning repression in China. Reporters Without Borders activists will station themselves in one of Paris’ busiest districts at midday and ask passers-by to let themselves be photographed wearing the “Beijing 2008” campaign T-shirt, on which the Olympic rings have been turned into handcuffs. A video about imprisoned journalists will at the same time be shown on a large screen.

Some 30 leading European sports personalities and actors have already agreed to take part in this campaign by wearing the “Beijing 2008” T-shirt.

Reporters Without Borders hails the announcement on 28 January that Britain’s Prince Charles has decided not to attend the Beijing Olympics inauguration above all because of the violation of basic freedoms in Tibet, where free expression is even more restricted. Three Tibetans were given long prison sentences last year because of reports about repressions they had sent abroad.

More information about Reporters Without Borders’ campaign: http://www.rsf.org/rubrique.php3?id_rubrique=174

Original report from Reporters Without Borders

Posted in Activist, Asia, Beijing Olympics, Campaigns, Chen Guangcheng, China, Europe, Event, Freedom of Speech, Hu Jia, Human Rights, Life, News, People, Politics, Social, Spiritual, Sports, World, Zeng Jinyan | Comments Off on Reporters Without Borders Condemns China Regime On the First Day of the Chinese New Year

34 Members of U.S. Congress Call on China to Respect Human Rights

Posted by Author on October 9, 2007


China Aid Association (CAA), Washington DC (Oct 8, 2007)-

October 3, 2007 – On September 19th, Congressman Trent Franks sent a letter to President Hu, cosigned by 33 other members of Congress, calling for the release of Chen Guangcheng and drawing attention to China’s destructive family planning policy.

Congressman Franks stated, “The right to life is the most essential of all human rights, and prosecuting Chen for peacefully defending this right reflects the low value the Chinese government places on human dignity.  The inability for citizens such as Chen to dissent indicates the lack of respect for other essential freedoms in China as well.”

“Despite numerous congressional attempts, this communist regime refuses to address the flagrant human rights abuses committed against its people.  China should no longer be treated as an equal partner in world politics, in particular as they prepare to host the 2008 Olympics in Beijing next summer, unless they begin to demonstrate their respect for their international human rights obligations.”

Chen was sentenced to four years and three months in prison in August 2006 on charges of “instigating others to obstruct traffic.”  Chen, a blind human rights advocate, was targeted for his tireless advocacy on behalf of the victims of forced abortion and sterilization perpetrated by local authorities under China’s family planning policy.

Chen’s case adds to a growing list of human rights and religious freedom advocates that the Chinese government has attempted to silence as they prepare for the Olympics.  Since this letter was sent, China imprisoned Mr. Gao Zhisheng, a prominent human rights lawyer and Nobel Peace Prize nominee.  Gao was arrested on September 22, following a press conference in which he released a letter to the U.S. Congress expressing his deep concerns over the worsening deterioration of human rights in China ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.  There are also reports that friends of Gao have been targeted by the secret police, tortured and threatened to remain silent.

Having worked to protect the sanctity of human life in the United States for over twenty-five years, Congressman Franks has followed with similar concern the serious human rights abuses perpetuated by this communist regime upon innocent women, the unborn, disabled, and religious minorities. Over the past year, Congressman Franks has also raised concerns over the imprisonment of Pastor Zhang Rongliang and the family of Ms. Rebiya Kadeer, a prominent Uyghur human rights advocate, as well as China’s treatment of North Korean refugees.

Congressman Franks is serving his third term in the U.S. House of Representatives, and is a member of the Committee on Armed Services, Strategic Forces Subcommittee, Readiness Subcommittee, Committee on the Judiciary, and is Ranking Member on the Constitution Subcommittee

Original from chinaaid.org

Posted in Activist, Chen Guangcheng, China, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Politics, USA, World | 5 Comments »

Mountains Move Easier Than the Chinese Communist Party

Posted by Author on August 30, 2007


By Frank Ching, Special to The China Post, Taiwan, August 29, 2007-

There’s a Chinese saying that says “It is easier to move a mountain than change a person’s nature.” This is similar to the English expression that a zebra cannot change its stripes.

Time and again, the Chinese authorities through their actions have confirmed the truth of the saying. They just did it again a few days ago when they stopped the wife of a blind activist serving a prison term from leaving the country.

The activist, Chen Guangcheng, who has been blind since childhood and studied law on his own in order to help farmers with grievances to file court cases, is in prison after he documented cases of forced abortions and other abuses by officials in Shandong province.

He was jailed on what appeared to be trumped-up charges of damaging property and organizing a mob to disturb traffic. In recognition of his “irrepressible passion for justice in leading ordinary Chinese citizens to assert their legitimate rights under the law,” Chen was chosen to receive the 2007 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Emergent Leadership.

Since he was behind bars, his wife, Yuan Weijing, decided to go to Manila to receive the award on his behalf. However, before she could board the plane, police apparently barred her passage from Shandong’s Linyi region, removed her baggage from the plane and confiscated her passport.

These officials did not provide any reason for denying her the right to travel. No doubt they did not want her to publicize the case of her husband, which would only further embarrass the provincial authorities.

But they do not seem to realize that by doing so, they will bring international opprobrium down on China — not just Shandong province. By trying to shield themselves, they are hurting the nation, showing the world that China is not a country where the rule of law is respected.

This behavior is consistent with China’s treatment of other individuals in the country who have distinguished themselves. In 2004, the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service was given to Dr. Jiang Yanyong in recognition of “his brave stand for truth in China, spurring life-saving measures to confront and contain the deadly threat of SARS.”

While the SARS virus was spreading in China in late 2002 and 2003, the Chinese government was covering up the severity of the epidemic. It was Dr. Jiang who leaked the information to Western news agencies. When Western countries put pressure on China, Beijing fired the minister of public health and took steps to deal with the epidemic, preventing it from reaching pandemic proportions.

Needless to say, Dr. Jiang was prevented from leaving the country to receive the justly earned award. China did not want the world to be reminded of its cover-up, an act that led to the deaths of hundreds of people outside the mainland.

The elderly physician Gao Yaojie, now 79 years old, has had an even worse experience. She embarrassed authorities in Henan province by exposing how HIV was spread in the province through illegal blood sales. In 2001, she was awarded the Jonathan Mann Award for Global Health and Human Rights, but was put under house arrest and prevented from receiving the award. In 2003, she was honored with the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service and again prevented from receiving it.

This year, she was chosen by Vital Voices Global Partnership, a nonprofit group, to receive its 2007 Global Women’s Leadership Award for Human Rights. Again, the provincial authorities put her under house arrest.

It was only after Senator Hillary Clinton intervened that Beijing allowed Ms. Gao go to leave the country to receive the richly deserved award. At the time, she said that the situation in China was improving, since for the first time she was actually allowed to receive an award.

However, with the latest incident involving the wife of Chen Guangcheng, it would appear that the situation in China has not improved. Local officials are still doing everything possible to keep embarrassing information from coming out, and are willing to go to great lengths to achieve this, embarrassing the country as a result.

In the meantime, the central government is simply sitting on its hands by allowing local officials to abuse their power and punish upright citizens, the cream of Chinese society. This is a sad commentary on China, its ruling Communist party, and on the sense of values (or lack thereof) on the part of the Chinese government.

– original report from China Post: Mountains move easier than China

Posted in Activist, AIDS, Beijing, Birth control, Central China, Chen Guangcheng, China, Commentary, Communist Party, East China, Freedom of Speech, Health, Henan, Human Rights, Law, medical, News, Opinion, People, Politics, Shandong, Social, Spiritual, World | Comments Off on Mountains Move Easier Than the Chinese Communist Party

China: Jailed Activist’s Wife Detained for Leaving Country to Collect Rights Award

Posted by Author on August 24, 2007


By Ben Blanchard, Reuters, Aug 24, 2007-

BEIJING (Reuters) – China on Friday prevented the wife of a blind, jailed activist from going to the Philippines to collect a human rights award on his behalf by revoking her passport.

Police detained her at the airport, a friend told Reuters.

The Manila-based Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation named Chen Guangcheng as one of seven winners this year, citing his “irrepressible passion for justice in leading ordinary Chinese citizens to assert their legitimate rights under the law.”

Chen was jailed for four years and three months last year for disrupting traffic and damaging property, charges his wife, Yuan Weijing, and critics say were concocted by officials angry at his exposure of forced late-term abortions in his hometown in Shandong province.

“They said that her passport was not valid,” said Yuan’s friend and fellow activist Zeng Jinyan. “But that’s not the case. She was able to check in with no problem.”

Yuan’s telephone was turned off.

Zeng’s husband and fellow activist Hu Jia told Reuters he later received a very brief phone call from Yuan saying that she had been “kidnapped”, was hiding in a women’s toilet and was unable to say where she was.

“I suddenly heard the sound of somebody knocking on the door, and then the phone went dead,” Hu said. “This is the work of the Public Security Ministry — China’s Gestapo.”

The ministry declined to comment.

The Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation said in a statement that it regretted that Chen was unable to come to Manila to receive his prize and that Yuan was also unable to accept on his behalf.

But it added that the foundation was a non-political organization, saying “we respect every country’s authority and its decisions with regard to the travel of its citizens”.

HARASSMENT

Police earlier accosted and briefly detained a small group of foreign reporters who had gone to Hu and Zeng’s house in Beijing, where Yuan was staying.

Officers tried to seize film and stopped Hu from driving Yuan to the airport.

Yuan told Reuters before setting off that the foreign affairs office in Linyi, near her home, had called late on Thursday night to tell her the passport had been revoked.

“But my passport very obviously is valid until March 2008. Moreover, I already have my visa,” she said. “There is no reason to revoke it.”

Yuan said the Shandong government did not want her leaving the country to tell foreigners about abuses her husband was trying to combat.

“They have done illegal things,” she said. “They don’t want it to be spoken about.

“I actually really admire the Shandong government for making so much effort that they can mobilize the Beijing public security bureau,” Yuan added sarcastically.

Chinese activists have said Chen’s heavy sentence shows officials are clamping down on “rights defenders”, a network of lawyers and activists seeking to expand freedoms through litigation and Internet-driven campaigns.

A British diplomat who had gone to see if Yuan would be allowed to leave said she was concerned about the harassment.

“This is a case we’ve raised at the highest levels with the Chinese,” Lucy Hughes from the British embassy in Beijing told Reuters. “We are concerned both for the safety of human rights defenders and for the ability of journalists to report freely.”

Foreign journalists were supposed to have been given greater freedom to report since the start of the year, ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. But in practice the police still detain reporters when they see fit.

– Original report from Reuters : China stops activist’s wife leaving country

Posted in Activist, Beijing, Chen Guangcheng, China, East China, Family, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Politics, Shandong, Social, Women, World | Comments Off on China: Jailed Activist’s Wife Detained for Leaving Country to Collect Rights Award

Jailed Blind China Activist Wins Asian Nobel Award

Posted by Author on August 1, 2007


Reuters, Jul 31, 2007- cheng guangcheng 1

MANILA (Reuters) – A blind Chinese activist who is serving a four-year prison term after exposing forced abortions and sterilisation in northern China in 2005 was awarded on Tuesday Asia’s equivalent of the Nobel prize.

The Manila-based Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation named Chen Guangcheng as one of seven winners this year, citing his “irrepressible passion for justice in leading ordinary Chinese citizens to assert their legitimate rights under the law.”

Chen was sentenced to four years and three months’ jail last year for disrupting traffic and damaging property, charges his wife and critics say were concocted by officials angry at his exposure of forced late-term abortions in his hometown in Shandong province.

Chen, blind since childhood, was convicted in a closed-door trial in which even his lawyers were not allowed access.

He is known as a self-taught “barefoot lawyer” for providing legal advice to peasants who say they have been victimised by official abuses.

The Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation, named for a popular Philippine president killed in a plane crash, was set up in 1957 by the trustees of the New York-based Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

Nearly 250 people and 16 groups, including the U.S. Peace Corps and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, have been recognized by the awards body since the first awards in 1958.

The awards, based on six categories, are given yearly to individuals and groups in Asia. ( …… more details from Reuters report)

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Leading Chinese Blind Rights defender Beaten in Prison

Posted by Author on June 22, 2007


Amnesty International, 21 June 2007-

cheng guangcheng 1Jailed human rights defender Chen Guangcheng was severely beaten by other prisoners on the orders of prison guards on 16 June, and denied medical treatment. He has begun a hunger strike in protest, refusing water as well as food. Amnesty International believes his life is in danger, and that he is at risk of further torture and ill-treatment.

His wife visited him at the Linyi City Prison on 19 June. He told her that after he refused to have his head shaved, six other prisoners had pushed him to the floor, encouraged by prison guards, and hit and kicked him hard. He said his ribs hurt and thought one might be broken. He began his hunger strike that day.

He said he was being punished for “being disobedient” due to his insistence on filing an appeal to the provincial higher court.

Since Chen Guangcheng has been blind since birth he requires the assistance of his lawyer or his wife to help him draft his appeal. However the prison authorities have refused to permit either his lawyer or his wife to visit him for longer than 30 minutes per month, making it impossible for Chen Guangcheng to prepare an appeal.

The prison authorities have refused his family’s request to give him medical attention, including an X-ray to check for broken bones.

Chen Guangcheng is a self-taught lawyer. He helped villagers to take legal action against the Linyi city authorities, who had allegedly been forcing women to have abortions so as to meet birth quotas set by central government. He had been under house arrest since September 2005. (See UA 271/05, ASA 17/037/2005, 14 October 2005 and follow-ups.)

In August 2006, after a grossly unfair trial, he was sentenced to four years and three months in prison for “damaging public property and gathering people to block traffic”.

Amnesty International considers him a prisoner of conscience, jailed solely for his peaceful activities in defence of human rights.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Chen Guangcheng is one example of a disturbing pattern of Chinese lawyers and activists being subjected to conviction and imprisonment after unfair trials.

The pattern continues despite promises by the Chinese authorities to improve human rights in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics in August 2008.

Despite several measures introduced to curb the practice, torture and ill-treatment remain widespread in China. Common methods include kicking, beating, electric shocks, suspension by the arms, shackling in painful positions and sleep and food-deprivation.

Amnesty International remains deeply concerned that human rights defenders who attempt to report more widely on violations, challenge policies which are deemed politically sensitive or try to rally others to their cause face serious risk of abuse.

– original from Amnesty International : China: Torture/Medical concern/Prisoner of conscience, Chen Guangcheng (m)

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Amnesty International Report 2007 – China (2)

Posted by Author on May 24, 2007


Amnesty International, May 23, 2007-

(… cont’d)

Discrimination against rural migrants

Rural migrant workers in China’s cities faced wide-ranging discrimination. Despite official commitment to resolve the problem, millions of migrant workers were still owed back pay. The vast majority were excluded from urban health insurance schemes and could not afford private health care. Access to public education remained tenuous for millions of migrant children, in contrast to other urban residents. An estimated

20 million migrant children were unable to live with their parents in the cities in part because of insecure schooling.

• Beijing municipal authorities closed dozens of migrant schools in September, affecting thousands of migrant children. While authorities claimed to have targeted unregistered and sub-standard schools, onerous demands made it nearly impossible for migrant schools to be registered. Some school staff believed the closures were aimed at reducing the migrant population in Beijing ahead of the 2008 Olympics.

Violence and discrimination against women

Violence and discrimination against women remained severe. The disadvantaged economic and social status of women and girls was evident in employment, health care and education. Women were laid off in larger numbers than men from failing state enterprises. Women accounted for 60 per cent of rural labourers and had fewer non-agricultural opportunities than men. The absence of gender-sensitive anti-HIV/AIDS policies contributed to a significant rise in female HIV/AIDS cases in 2006. Only 43 per cent of girls in rural areas completed education above lower middle school, compared with 61 per cent of boys.

Despite strengthened laws and government efforts to combat human trafficking, it remained pervasive, with an estimated 90 per cent of cases being women and children trafficked for sexual exploitation.

• Chen Guangcheng, a blind, self-trained lawyer, was sentenced in August to a prison term of four years and three months on charges of “damaging public property and gathering people to stop traffic”. He had been arbitrarily confined to his home since September 2005 in connection with his advocacy on behalf of women undergoing forced abortions in Shandong Province. On appeal, the guilty verdict was overturned and the case sent back to the lower court for retrial, but the lower court upheld the original sentence.

Repression of spiritual and religious groups

The government continued to crack down on religious observance outside officially sanctioned channels. Thousands of members of underground protestant “house churches” and unofficial Catholic churches were detained, many of whom were ill-treated or tortured in detention. Members of the Falun Gong spiritual movement were detained and assigned to administrative detention for their beliefs, and continued to be at high risk of torture or ill-treatment.

• Bu Dongwei, a Falun Gong practitioner, was assigned to two and a half years’ Re-education through Labour in June for “activities relating to a banned organization” after police discovered Falun Gong literature at his home. He had been working for a US aid organization when he was detained.

• Pastor Zhang Rongliang, an underground church leader who had been repeatedly detained and imprisoned since 1976, was sentenced in June to seven and a half years’ imprisonment on charges of illegally crossing the border and fraudulently obtaining a passport. (to be cont’d…)

Page 1 2 3 4

original from Amnesty International

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Jailed China Blind Lawyer Honored International Award

Posted by Author on March 15, 2007


BBC News, 14 March 2007-

cheng guangcheng 1Five “defenders of free speech”, including a blind Chinese lawyer and a jailed Egyptian blogger, have been honoured at a London awards ceremony.

The annual Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Awards salute people who have contributed to the defence of freedom of expression.

They are given to those who use film, the law, books, journalism, campaigning or whistleblowing to achieve this.

The awards’ organisers said each winner was symbolic of under-reported stories.

The whistleblower award went to Chen Guangcheng (photo above), a self-taught lawyer in the Shandong province of China.

Known as the “barefoot lawyer”, he is a blind activist who publicised reports of forced abortions, as late as eight months pregnant, and sterilisations in the city of Linyi to enforce China’s one-child policy.

Mr Chen was sentenced in August 2006 to over four years in prison for property damage and organising a crowd to disturb traffic.

The 2007 award for journalism went to 22-year old blogger Abdel Kareem Soliman, who wrote under the name Kareem Amer.

He was recently sentenced to four years in prison after using his web log to criticise the country’s top Islamic institution, al-Azhar university, and President Hosni Mubarak, whom he called a dictator.

The literature award went to assassinated Lebanese journalist Samir Qasir, well known for his criticism of the former pro-Syrian Lebanese authorities, for his book Being Arab.

Qasir died in a Beirut car bomb attack in 2005…… ( more details from BBC News)

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China Upholds Jail Term of Peasants’ Advocate Chen Guangcheng

Posted by Author on January 13, 2007


By JOSEPH KAHN, New York Times, US –

BEIJING, Jan. 12 — A Chinese court on Friday upheld the conviction of and lengthy jailcheng guangcheng 1 sentence for a leading advocate for peasants’ rights despite widespread criticism that he was unjustly made a target by corrupt local officials.

The ruling, by the Linyi Intermediate Court in Shandong Province, rejected the final appeal of Chen Guangcheng, known in legal circles as China’s “barefoot lawyer.”

Mr. Chen, blind since a childhood illness, led a campaign to stop the authorities in the city of Linyi from forcing peasants to have abortions to meet population-control quotas. Local officials put him under house arrest for 10 months, then charged him on criminal counts of destroying property and organizing a mob to disrupt traffic.

He was sentenced to four years and three months in prison.

The same Linyi appeals court in December overturned the conviction of Mr. Chen, citing insufficient evidence. But after a hasty second trial, Mr. Chen was convicted on the identical charges and given an identical sentence by a lower court in Yinan County, Shandong.

Officials of the ruling Communist Party tightly control the country’s legal system, and political considerations tend to outweigh legal ones when deciding delicate cases, including human rights cases, although officials do not acknowledge it.

The roller-coaster-like reversals in Mr. Chen’s case raised suspicions that the local and central authorities at least initially disagreed about how to handle Mr. Chen’s case, with local officials eventually prevailing.

Mr. Chen’s advocacy work on behalf of peasants in Shandong and his high-profile effort to stop abuses in the country’s population-control policies attracted attention from Chinese and international legal experts. National population planning officials in Beijing verified some of his complaints about forced abortions and sterilizations and in 2005 ordered Linyi to stop using violent methods to reach population control targets.

But local officials in Linyi retaliated against him and his family, relatives, friends and defense lawyers said. His home village was put under constant guard.

Mr. Chen’s lawyers and several leading international legal experts contend that the case against him made a mockery of China’s claim that it is developing an impartial legal system.

The court ignored defense claims that testimony against Mr. Chen was a result of forced confessions by villagers taken into custody. The judges declined to postpone the trial when one witness, who Mr. Chen’s lawyers say was prepared to testify that he had been forced to provide evidence against Mr. Chen, was arrested by the local police on the eve of Mr. Chen’s trial.

The court also proceeded with the case despite repeated physical harassment of Mr. Chen’s Beijing-based defense lawyers, among a variety of other violations.

“It is obviously a disappointing result, but at this point it was not unexpected,” said Li Jinsong, Mr. Chen’s lead lawyer, who was himself badly beaten by thugs when traveling to Linyi to visit Mr. Chen late last month.

“We will continue to appeal to higher authorities to reconsider this matter,” he said.

He said he would also seek a medical parole for Mr. Chen, who is legally blind.

original New York Times’ reportChinese Court Upholds Conviction of Peasants’ Advocate

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Chinese Activist Says Officials Ordered His Torture

Posted by Author on December 9, 2006


Radio Free Asia, 2006.12.07-

cheng guangcheng 1HONG 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.

Chen 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 service Thursday.

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 tortured.”

“His 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.

“On 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’.

“I 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.

Chen’s groundbreaking 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 in China.

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.

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.

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Blind dissident sent to jail by China in ‘mockery of a trial’

Posted by Author on December 2, 2006


Times Online, UK, December 02, 2006-

China displayed yesterday its determination not to allow criticism from rights groups or foreign governments to affect its justice system when separate courts upheld the convictions, of a blind activist and a journalist, that have been condemned at home and abroad.

A court in the eastern province of Shandong re-sentenced Chen Guangcheng to four years and three months on charges of damaging public property and disrupting social order. The self-taught lawyer, who had documented cases of forced abortions and sterilisations, was appearing after an appeal court had ordered that his case be retried.

 

In Beijing the High Court took five minutes to reject an appeal by Zhao Yan, a researcher for The New York Times, against a sentence of three years in prison for fraud. In a rare decision for a justice system in which more than 95 per cent of trials result in a guilty verdict, a court had acquitted Mr Zhao earlier of the more serious charge of revealing state secrets, which could have led to a ten-year prison term.

Mr Chen’s case has drawn particular attention. His sentence was considered unusually heavy, especially since he was already under house arrest at the time the offences were committed. His lawyer called the verdict a tragedy for Chinese justice and said that he had been unable to call a key witness, who was apparently kidnapped on the eve of the trial.

International rights groups said that both men were victims of a campaign by Beijing’s Communist rulers to silence and intimidate dissenters.

Judges at the Yinan County Court in Shandong province took nearly an hour to read their verdict that upheld their earlier sentence on Mr Chen. Security was tight around the court, with dozens of police inside and outside, and manning a cordon around the building to prevent the entry of members of the public.

His brother, Chen Guangfu, was allowed to attend the session and he described the accused as impassive during the sentencing. “But when they asked him to place his fingerprint on the verdict, I heard him say, ‘I will appeal’.” Mr Chen, who was blinded in infancy and taught himself law to fight discrimination against the handicapped, was convicted in August by the same court. Last month an intermediate court , where Mr Chen, 34, had filed an appeal, overturned the sentence.

Chen Guangfu said: “This is a mockery. It is shameful.” At the ten-hour retrial on Monday, no witnesses or evidence were presented from the defence, Chen’s lawyer, Li Fangping, told The Times. “In court we had the upper hand and the other side made no effective rebuttal. At first we hoped that this would be a fair trial. However, the court clung obstinately to its evil course.”

The lawyer said that he was unable to present crucial witnesses after one was kidnapped on the eve of the trial and two others disappeared. He said: “This is a tragedy for China’s legal system . . . the outcome shows that they were just going through the motions.” For example, at the time of the disturbance last August when villagers blocked a road in Mr Chen’s hometown for three hours, the activist was surrounded by 26 men who had been watching him and keeping him under effective house arrest for months.

Mr Chen’s supporters said that officials fabricated the charges against him in retaliation after he documented complaints that officials who were trying to implement birth-control regulations had forced villagers to undergo late-term abortions and sterilisations. Beijing said later that it had carried out its own investigation and punished local officials after finding violations of the family planning policy.

Mr Chen’s wife, Yuan Weijin, who was taken away days before the second trial but later released, said that she had seen him this week and described him as being in high spirits.

When she asked her vegetarian husband about the food in prison, he replied jokingly: “Don’t worry. You can’t eat meat here even if you want to.” Another suspect had left Mr Chen all his clothes to keep him warm when he was released and the activist wore his friend’s overcoat to court. She said: “I am very disappointed today. This shows how powerful are the forces of evil.”

Rough justice

  • Chen Guangcheng acted as a lawyer for women in China’s Shangdong province, helping them to sue government officials for conducting a campaign of forced sterilisations and abortions
  • Time magazine named him as one of its 100 People Who Shape the World
  • After his conviction in August, Amnesty International said: “The charges against Chen were politically motivated and the trial was grossly unfair. Chen’s lawyers were obstructed from collecting evidence to representing him in court”
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    China: Wife of Rights Activist Dropped by Police, Sobbing, Near Home

    Posted by Author on November 29, 2006


    By Maureen Fan, Washington Post, November 29, 2006-

    BEIJING, Nov. 28 — The wife of a blind legal activist was detained by police for eight hours Tuesday, then dragged out of a police minivan and dropped on the ground at the entrance to her home village, sobbing uncontrollably, lawyers and a relative said.

    Yuan Weijing was held a day after her husband was retried in a case closely watched by human rights activists. Attorneys for her husband, Chen Guangcheng, suggested that she had been detained so she could not travel to Beijing to complain about mistreatment of her family by officials.

    Chen embarrassed authorities in eastern Shandong province last year by helping villagers prepare a class-action lawsuit against abuses, including forced abortions and sterilizations, meant to implement China’s one-child-only policy.

    He was later sentenced to more than four years in prison for disrupting traffic and damaging public property, charges his attorneys said were trumped up to punish him for his activism.

    Chen appealed and on Monday was given a retrial, which is rare in China. No verdict was announced. While signing court documents Tuesday, he and his wife were permitted to speak to each other briefly, for the first time in eight months, lawyers said. Then Yinan County police presented a summons to Chen’s attorneys and took Yuan away.

    About 8:30 p.m., a shop owner at the entrance to the couple’s village saw more than 10 police officers drag Yuan out of a small white van and drop her onto the ground crying, said Chen’s older brother, Chen Guangfu.

    She appeared to be in pain, Chen said, but it was unclear Tuesday night whether Yuan had been beaten. She was taken to a nearby hospital to be examined.

    Yuan has been detained three times before but has never returned home this distressed, Chen said, adding, “She just won’t stop crying.”

    A man on duty at the criminal police battalion of the Yinan County police station said he did not know whether Yuan had been detained. “I’ve never heard of it. I don’t know,” he said.

    At the hospital, Yuan later declared, “The police are bandits,” Chen Guangfu said.

    Yuan has spoken out publicly against local authorities and criticized the conduct of her husband’s trial.

    In an opinion column last month in The Washington Post, she said she was being watched constantly by guards.

    “I want to send a message to my husband: One day the truth will come to light,” she wrote. “Even though they put you in jail, they cannot imprison your thoughts and spirit. You must take good care of yourself so that you can continue your unfinished work.”

    –  from Washington Post‘s report

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