Friday, September 01, 2006

Free Chen Guangcheng

Chinese human rights activist, Chen Guangcheng is one of the most remarkable people of our age. Blind since childhood he was denied an education until he was 17 years old. He made up for the deficit with extraordinary speed and dedication, getting himself into university and teaching himself law. Thereafter he dedicated himself to fighting the little person's corner, campaigning for anyone whose rights were violated by the totalitarian Chinese state. Earlier this year, Time Magazine described him as one of the most influential people alive.
His most recent campaign focused on the human-rights abuses of the notorious Chinese one-child-per-family policy. Chen had collected evidence of women in Linyi City being forced to abort foetuses of at least 8 months gestation and forcibly sterilised, with a view to bringing a class-action law suit against the Chinese government. But it didn't happen. Last September, Chen was seized and placed under house arrest. In June he was formally arrested and charged with traffic disruption and destruction of property.
Last week, following what was described by legal expert Jerome Cohen as 'a farce of a trial', held behind closed doors, during which he was deprived of access to his legal team, three of whom were themselves arrested including distinguished law professor Xu Zhiyong who was beaten up, Chen was convicted and sentenced to four years and three months imprisonment.
Chen's wife, Yuan Weijing learned of the verdict from the media. She said: "I didn't expect they would punish him this severely. The whole operation stinks and is illegal and under the table. I don't know what to do now. I want to visit him, but I don't think they will allow me."
This modest blog is without any discernable political influence, its entries mere whispers in the grand blogosphere shriek of things. But Chen's heroic example demands solidarity from comfortable Westerners no matter how minor.
So here it is.

Free Chen Guangcheng.


Anonymous Paddy Garcia said...

Of course. And where are the pro "choicers". Where are our "friends" from "abortion rights" condemning this? Forced abortion and sterilation is hardly "choice" is it?

9/05/2006 6:43 PM  
Anonymous Paddy Garcia said...


9/05/2006 10:38 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home