By Dave Andrusko
As NRL News Today was about to be posted, there was little new news about the status of Chen Guangcheng, the courageous human rights activist who in 2006 exposed the Chinese government’s systematic, massive use of forced abortion and involuntary sterilization to enforce its “One Child Policy.”
Chen’s amazing escape through the security cordon surrounding his farmhouse in rural Shandong province has drawn worldwide attention. Chen is reported under American protection at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. His house arrest followed more than four years in jail on a trumpeted up charge.
Pro-life Mitt Romney voiced strong support for Chen. The presumptive Republican nominee for President told Erica Hill and Charlie Rose of CBS This Morning that the president should make sure China’s leaders know that any mistreatment against Chen stands against American values.
“He should speak one on one with the key leadership in China and make sure they understand that we’re entirely committed to the principle of human rights, that we do oppose the one-child policy, which Mr. Chen has been opposing for some time, that based upon the comments that have been made by Mr. Chen that there should be a real effort taken on the part of the Chinese government to make sure that the abuses that have been described against Mr. Chen’s wife and his family stop immediately, that the family is given protection from authorities that have apparently been abusing their civil and human rights, and we should make it very clear that this is an important priority for the United States of America and for the people of the world.”
Pro-life Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) issued a wide-ranging statement yesterday, stating that Chen, his wife, even his grandmother, and numerous others who have sought to assist Chen have been savagely beaten because he defended women from the cruelty of forced abortion. “The Chinese government construed Chen’s compassion for women and unborn children as a crime,” said Smith who, since last October, has been repeatedly denied a visa by China to go there and visit Chen at his home where he was under house arrest.
After viewing Chen’s 15-minute video (www.chinaaid.org/2012/04/chinaaid-chen-guangchengs-newly.html), Smith said Monday that “Chen has pleaded with anyone and everyone concerned about his plight to ‘pay special attention’ to his family who are at great risk.” Smith said at least four of Chen’s relatives are known to have been subjected to harsh interrogations since Chen’s escape.
“The eyes of the world are on Premier Wen Jiaboa, the Chinese government and U.S. diplomatic leaders—Secretary Hilary Clinton; Assistant Secretary of East Asian Affairs Kurt Campbell; and Assistant Secretary for Human Rights Michael Posner,” Smith said. “Chen’s dramatic escape from his prison home in rural Shandong province underscores the depth of the danger facing his family and his need to once again—in the most conspicuous way possible—call the world’s attention to human rights abuses in China.
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