Chris Smith Holds More Hearings to Free Chinese Human Rights Hero Chen Guangcheng
Mei Shunping, who became pregnant a number of times but was forced to have multiple abortions at the hands of the Chinese government, testified to the brutality of the one child policy
Chen defended thousands of women from the ongoing, most egregious systematic state-sponsored exploitation and abuse of women in human history-pervasive forced abortion and involuntary sterilization as part of China's one child per couple policy-and has suffered torture, cruel and degrading treatment, unjust incarceration, and multiple beatings as a result.
Chen wheeled by a window in the hospital where he is under house arrest
WASHINGTON,DC (Catholic Online) - On May 6, 2012, in an article entitled Free Chen, Free China, Free the Children in the Womb from Forced Abortion, I reported on the heroic work of Chen Guangcheng and the request this hero made for he and his family to receive asylum in the United States during the visit of our Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, to China.
Since the initial news stories surrounding the incident there has been little coverage of Chen. He is under what amounts to house arrest in a Chinese hospital. His extended family is being beaten and threatened. Just as the focus at the beginning of the month was on who botched the affair diplomatically, rather than the important underlying issues, there seems to be little concern for the ongoing abuse of human rights of Chen and his family.
Chen is a 40 year old Chinese citizen who taught himself the law and, as a human rights lawyer, courageously stands up against the evil, inhumane and barbaric forced abortion and sterilization policies of the Peoples Republic of China. He is a human rights hero!
Perhaps the lack of coverage has to do with the fact that his defense of pregnant women from forced abortions, fertile women from forced sterilizations, and innocent children from death by abortion is not politically correct in the United States. After all, we fail to hear the cry of the poorest of the poor, children in the womb in our own Nation. We actually call killing them through procured abortion a "right".
Chen was released from jail in China in 2010 and placed under house arrest. He and his wife have been regularly beaten by plain clothes government goons and the beating has now intensified. Chen is physically blind, but sees the truth of what is happening in China better than many of our own government leaders who have the full use of their faculty of sight.
He has been praised by those truly concerned about violations against fundamental human rights in mainland China. Chen's plight broke into our National news when he heroically escaped a brutal house arrest and sought asylum in the United States Embassy in April. He made an impassioned plea for help from the government of the United States. To date, we have not properly responded.
Congressman Chris Smith is an exception; this courageous Catholic has stood strongly on behalf of fundamental human rights for years. He has never backed down in his condemnation of the Chinese Communist regime. It was no surprise to me that, as this story unfolded on Thursday, May 3, 2012, Chen called the US Congress and spoke to Congressman Chris Smith, in a live hearing through an interpreter!
It is no surprise to me that this tenacious defender of human rights refuses to let this vital story - and the plight of this hero - fade from public attention. The "one child policy" in China is overlooked by some members of Congress; even some who claim to be Pro-Life. Not by Chris Smith, because he is morally coherent.
Chris Smith knows that the Pro-Life position is not simply a "religious" position - it is a human rights position. He is a human rights hero. He does not compromise on fundamental human rights in order to promote economic agendas. That is the reason why he is one of my heroes and why I sincerely hope he seeks further high office. America needs this kind of public servant desperately in this desperate hour.
On Tuesday, May 15, 2012, Congressman Smith once again held hearings to keep the focus on the plight of Chen. A full report can be found on his excellent web site. Here are some excerpts:
"Chen Guangcheng is among the bravest defenders of women's rights in the world," Smith said. "Chen defended thousands of women from the ongoing, most egregious systematic state-sponsored exploitation and abuse of women in human history-pervasive forced abortion and involuntary sterilization as part of China's one child per couple policy-and has suffered torture, cruel and degrading treatment, unjust incarceration, and multiple beatings as a result."
"The sheer magnitude of this exploitation of women has been largely overlooked and trivialized by many-and even enabled. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has for over 30 years supported, defended, and whitewashed the crimes against women and children Chen struggled to expose. That's why President Reagan and more recently President Bush defunded the UNFPA. In an indefensible reversal, the Obama Administration has provided approximately $165 million to the UNFPA."
After listening to a panel of witnesses testify on human rights abuses in China, Smith announced contact with Chen was made."Mr. Chen, you ...
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