China: Forced Abortion Opponent “Beaten Senseless” by Government Agents — Chen Guangcheng

A new video featuring One Child Policy activist Chen Guangcheng was leaked to the China Aid Association Wednesday.  It has just been reported that this morning, Chen and his wife, Yuan Weijing, were “beaten senseless” in retaliation for the release of the video.

Blind activist Chen exposed the systematic use of forced abortion in implementing China’s One Child Policy.  His work has not gone unnoticed by the world.  Time Magazine named him in its list of “2006’s Top 100 People Who Shape Our World,” in the category of “Heroes and Pioneers.”  In 2007 he was awarded the Magsaysay award, known as Asia’s Nobel Prize.

The Chinese Communist Party, however, took a different view.  For standing up for the rights of Chinese women, Chen was handed a four year, three month jail sentence, was tortured and denied medical treatment, and is now languishing under house arrest.  No one had heard from him since September until yesterday, when he released this video.

We are alarmed about the brutal beating of Chen and his wife, who are reportedly unable to move from their beds.  We are also indignant about the conditions of Chen’s house arrest.  A total of 66 security police surround their home day and night.  Chen has been denied medical treatment.  Nor can they communicate with the outside world, as their phone and computer access have been cut off.

At least that was the plan of the Chinese Communist Party.  That plan was shattered by “a reliable government source who is sympathetic to Chen’s cause and outraged by the treatment of Chen,” according to CAA.  In other words, Chen’s video was leaked to the West by a Chinese government insider.

This “reliable government source” must be a person of tremendous courage.  The CCP is no doubt interrogating all those responsible for walling Chen off from the world, to determine which of them was responsible for providing Chen with the means to get his message out.  If the person responsible for leaking the video is discovered, I shudder to think what may happen to them.

What does this act of defiance by a “reliable government source” say about the credibility of the CCP within China?  Has its human rights record become so debased that its own security police are willing to risk their safety to stand up for those they have been hired to victimize?

Not only are Chen and his family under house arrest, but security forces appear to have intimidated his entire village.  According to a Radio Free Asia report last month, a woman attempting to visit Chen said, “No one in this village will speak a word about [Chen] . . . None of the villagers I spoke to, nor the police, was even willing to utter his name.”

Why is the CCP so determined to crush Chen, as though he were a dangerous criminal?  The CCP wants the world to believe that its One Child Policy is voluntary.  Chinese President Hu Jintao, during his visit to Washington last month, told Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen that China has no policy of forced abortion.  In contrast, Chen single-handedly exposed the fact that there were 130,000 forced abortions and involuntary sterilizations in Linyi County, Shandong Province in just one year, 2005.  If China truly has no forced abortion policy, then why didn’t the regime jail those who were performing these forced abortions?  Why instead has it jailed and beaten Chen Guangcheng?

The fact that Chen remains under house arrest proves that President Hu’s statement is false.  The fact that Chen remains unyielding – continuing to urge his fellow citizens to stand up for their rights in China – must rankle party bosses.

Chen Guangcheng is the “Tank Man” against China’s One Child Policy. Impoverished, beaten and blind, Chen nevertheless possesses the surpassing backbone to stand alone against the grinding juggernaut of this totalitarian regime.  The CCP apparently perceives in Chen a real threat to its crumbling legitimacy.

In pressing for justice for Chen and his family, let us not forget those for whom he has sacrificed his freedom:  the women and families of China who are being shattered daily by forced abortion, forced sterilization and infanticide.  The coercive enforcement of China’s One Child Policy causes more violence against women and girls than any other official policy on earth.  It is the greatest women’s rights issue in the world today.  It does not matter whether you are pro-life or pro-choice on this issue.  No one supports forced abortion, because it is not a choice.

Women’s Rights Without Frontiers calls for the immediate, unconditional release from house arrest of Chen Guangcheng and his family, and for urgent medical treatment. To sign a petition to Free Chen Guangcheng, click here:

A wise man once said, “A house divided cannot stand.”  The CCP does everything it can to present itself as a monolithic behemoth, but does it recognize in the hated One Child Policy its Achilles heel?

AUTHOR’S NOTE:  The following links are relevant to this article:

Malcolm Moore, The Telegraph, 2/10/11

Exclusive Video Shows Ill Treatment and Illegal Detention of Blind Activist Chen Guangcheng, China Aid, 2/9/11

Qiao Long and Richard Finney, “Chinese Women Forced to Abort, Radio Free Asia 2/3/11

Xin Yu and Sun Jian, “No Let-Up for Activists,” Radio Free Asia 1/12/11

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