Currently this is the top news story on GoogleNews at the time of this posting.
Chen Guangcheng, a blind attorney who has been the leading campaigner in China against forced abortions, has escaped house arrest. He had been under house arrest and prevented by family planning officials from leaving his home for months following serving a bogus prison sentence on trumped up charges.
Chen escaped earlier this week from his home where he had been held under harsh and violent house arrest conditions since his September 2010 release from prison. The human rights organization ChinaAid learned recently that Chen’s friends and family report Chen has been brought to Beijing and he is no longer in any danger. [Steven Ertelt]
I first became aware of Chen’s story when movie actor Christian Bale attempted to visit him back in December while Chen was still under house arrest, and was turned away (and chased!) by plainclothes Chinese security officials. The video was aired on CNN:
“What I really wanted to do was to meet the man, shake his hand and say what an inspiration he is,” Bale said.
There is speculation that Chen could now be under American protection at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. Let us hope that if this is the case, America continues to grant him sanctuary and refuses to hand him back over to the Chinese authorities! Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be visiting Beijing May 3-4:
We are grateful that Chen is no longer under house arrest, but we are concerned about his safety and that of his family. We call upon Secretary of State Hillary Clinton specifically to raise Chen’s case during her visit to Beijing May 3-4. Indeed, we call upon the entire international diplomatic community to make urgent, official interventions on behalf of Chen with the Chinese government. We call upon NGOs and concerned citizens the world over strongly to support this great hero during his hour of need.”
We should also pray for the activists and friends of Chen who may have helped him escape – many of them are now under arrest and investigation themselves. The Chinese government’s record of brutality against its citizens is well-known. We can also help by helping get Chen’s story out there far and wide:
“We must report the true fact of this case and not let the Chinese propaganda machine spin this story as they see fit,” said Bob Fu of ChinaAid. “We will stand with Chen and work with the international community and world media to fight for his freedom.”
ChinaAid has briefed the U.S. State Department and congressional and White House officials about Chen’s situation, and has also worked with major wire services, newspapers and radio to get out Chen’s story.
So please do your part on behalf of Chen so he can carry on his pro-life and pro-woman message outside China and around the world!