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Public Statements

Rep. Smith Appeals on Behalf of Chinese Rights Activist

Statement

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Washington, Sep 10 - "The prison release of Chen Guangcheng, one of China's most heroic human rights defenders, is good news but only a step in the right direction," said Rep. Chris Smith, a senior member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

"The fact that Chen remains under house arrest, imprisoned in his own home, and is reportedly in need of urgent medical attention, must not be ignored," Smith said. "I appeal to the Chinese government to let Chen move about freely and ensure that he has access to the care he needs."

In 2005 and 2006 rights activist Chen Guangcheng revealed to the world the massive violence and brutality of a one-child policy enforcement campaign in Linyi, Shandong province. The Chinese government placed him under house arrest, then convicted him on trumped-up charges of property destruction. Chen served the full term of his 4-year, 3-month sentence, despite health problems indicating the appropriateness of medical parole. On September 9, 2010, officials transported him from prison to his house, which reportedly is surrounded by police and surveillance cameras, and foreign reporters attempting to enter his village have been beaten and driven away.

"The Chinese government's relentless pursuit of Chen corresponds to the continuing violence of the one-child policy, which Chen bravely exposed," Rep. Smith continued. "This year alone there are reliable reports of large scale and forced abortion and sterilization campaigns in Guangdong, Fujian, Yunnan, Zhejiang, and Jiangxi provinces. The trauma to Chinese women is immense.


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