U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, today urged the Obama Administration to protect Chen Guangcheng, a Chinese human rights activist, and his family from continued persecution by the Chinese regime. Chen reportedly escaped house arrest late last week and sought refuge in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"The U.S. must work to protect Chen and his family, not hand him over to Chinese authorities to face almost certain persecution. Forcing Chen into the hands of China's police state would send a chilling message to all those around the world looking to America for support in their struggle for freedom.
"To date, this Administration has made a calculated decision not to challenge the Chinese regime on its dismal human rights record. This is an opportunity to correct that mistake. Instead of continuing to bury the issue, Secretary Clinton and Secretary Geithner must raise human rights publicly and in their meetings with Chinese officials this week."