Chen Guangcheng, After Escape From Violent House Arrest, To Return Home
Chen Guangcheng, the blind Chinese anti-forced-abortion activist, after escaping from a violent house arrest, and reaching the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, is now on his way home, back to his wife and family.
Chen Guangcheng has risked his life to save women in China from forced abortion and sterilization. This cause has caught the attention of many, in the past year.
Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women's Rights Without Frontiers, has testified to the U.S. Congress over this issue and in the story Lawmaker Stands Up for Forced Abortion Opponent Chen Guangcheng, Congressman Chris Smith demonstrated his ongoing commitment to free Chen Guangcheng.
In an Open Letter to President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton and Ambassador Locke, Reggie Littlejohn calls on the U.S. government to use diplomatic means to ensure the safety of Chen Guangcheng, his family and supporters.
Chen Guangcheng: An Open Letter to President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton and Ambassador Locke
Dear President Obama, Secretary Clinton and Ambassador Locke:
We call for official United States protection of blind activist Chen Guangcheng, who dramatically escaped house detention and is now said to be at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. As of the writing of this letter, U.S. officials have not promised diplomatic protection for Chen or his family.
As Secretary Clinton meets with key leaders in Beijing this week, the moral credibility of the United States on the world stage hangs in the balance. Chen Guangcheng is the Gandhi of our time. He is a man of inconceivable bravery. Poor, blind, beaten and detained, he nevertheless possesses the surpassing backbone to stand alone against the crushing brutality of the communist regime. He is the "Tank Man" against the One Child Policy. He has done this on behalf of the women of China, who for thirty-two years have suffered the unspeakable torture of forced abortion and involuntary sterilization at the hands of the barbarous Chinese population control machine. Chen Guangcheng is a warrior for women's rights.
At great risk to himself, his family and a wide network of brave supporters, Chen has been delivered safely into our Embassy. Meanwhile, members of his family and key supporters have been beaten or detained.
The entire world is watching. Will you offer official protection to Chen, his family, and his key supporters who are now detained? Or will you continue to kowtow to the Chinese Communist Party for our economic advantage? Inescapably, the choice you make will symbolize the character of our nation to the world.
Women's Rights Without Frontiers calls upon you to use all diplomatic means to ensure safety for Chen Guangcheng, his family, and his key supporters who are currently detained, especially He Peirong, who rescued Chen and is a hero in her own right. We also ask that you press for Chen's requests that those who have been torturing and persecuting his family be brought to justice, and that corrupt officials who have received money for persecuting Chen be investigated and punished.
The American people - and the people of the world - cry out for freedom for Chen Guangcheng. If you deliver him back into the hands of the Chinese Communist Party, he will no doubt be imprisoned, tortured, possibly killed. Would you use this noble man as a bargaining chip in trade talks? To do so would be to sell the soul of our nation.
Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton today made this statement about Chen Guangcheng's stay at, and the departure from the U.S. embassy in Beijing.
I am pleased that we were able to facilitate Chen Guangcheng's stay and departure from the U.S. embassy in a way that reflected his choices and our values. I was glad to have the chance to speak with him today and to congratulate him on being reunited with his wife and children.
Mr. Chen has a number of understandings with the Chinese government about his future, including the opportunity to pursue higher education in a safe environment. Making these commitments a reality is the next crucial task. The United States government and the American people are committed to remaining engaged with Mr. Chen and his family in the days, weeks, and years ahead.
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