Today, Senator John Kerry, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement after meeting with Chen Guangcheng, a Chinese lawyer and human rights activist who was arrested, jailed, and later confined to his home and brutally beaten for challenging a government policy. He eventually escaped from home confinement and sought help from the U.S. embassy and is now residing in the United States.
"If you're not inspired by Chen Guangcheng's journey, you're incapable of inspiration. It was a profoundly moving experience hearing firsthand the story of this self-taught lawyer and activist who suffered mightily at the hands of local authorities, but refused to be silenced. He reiterated to me that the Chinese government has said it will investigate his case, and I strongly agree that promise must be kept and the safety of his family remaining in China must be protected. Chen, and all of us, are particularly concerned about his nephew, Chen Kegui, who was arrested on trumped-up charges following his uncle's escape in May. Chen Kegui must be treated fairly and humanely, and granted access to whatever defense counsel he chooses. It was obvious in talking with Chen Guangcheng today that he has deep feelings for his country and for the law. Chen and his nephew's story should inspire us to stay vigilant on behalf of the many others facing similar plight. I plan to work with him and support him moving forward as he contributes to his country's future and to the growth of a vibrant civil society and the rule of law in China."