By Reggie Littlejohn, President, Women’s Rights Without Frontiers
In the astonishment surrounding Chen Guangcheng’s extraordinary escape from house arrest, let us not forget why he was arrested: in 2006 Chen exposed the Chinese government’s systematic, massive use of forced abortion and involuntary sterilization to enforce its “One Child Policy.” WRWF obtained a copy of Chen’s field notes and we released the first English translation of these notes at a Congressional Hearing on December 6, 2011. You can read The Chen Guangcheng Report here.
A member of Chen’s team, human rights attorney Teng Biao, drafted this 2005 investigative report into coercive family planning in Linyi City, Shandong Province. The report contains extensive witness statements from cases Chen and his team were investigating before Chen was jailed. In the report are detailed accounts regarding:
· a woman forcibly aborted and sterilized at seven months;
· villagers sleeping in fields to evade Family Planning Officials;
· Family Planning Officials who broke three brooms over the head of an elderly man;
· Family Planning Officials who forced a grandmother and her brother to beat each other; and
· The use of quota systems and the practice of “implication” – the detention, fining and torture of the extended family of One Child Policy “violators.”
The Chen Guangcheng report makes clear: the spirit of the Red Guards lives on in China’s Family Planning death machine. WRWF released the names of the perpetrators of these crimes against humanity, so that they can be held accountable before the world.
Apparently, things have not improved in Linyi since 2005. Just last month, a woman in Linyi was forcibly aborted at nine months.
A photo of her full term baby floating in the bucket in which it was drowned circulated widely on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, eliciting widespread outrage.
In April 2011, Family Planning Officials stabbed a man to death when attempting to seize his sister for a forced sterilization. www.womensrightswithoutfrontiers.org/blog/?p=147 In October 2011, a woman, six months pregnant, died during a forced abortion in Lijing County, also in Shandong Province. www.womensrightswithoutfrontiers.org/blog/?p=429
Chen may be safe for the moment, but the women for whom he risked everything are not. Forced abortion is not a choice. It is official government rape. Until women in China are free to exercise perhaps their most fundamental right – the right to bear children – the nation of China will not be free.
Sign a petition to free Chen Guangcheng.