In China, Chen Guangcheng, a man blind since childhood, a self-taught lawyer and human-rights activist has faced a 6 year campaign by government officials that has consisted of harassment, persecution and physical abuse because of his work to investigate and uncover forced abortions and sterilizations by local authorities in Linyi.
Friday, Beijing accused Hillary Clinton of interfering in its affairs after the US Secretary of State expressed her concern's over China's human rights record when she said she was troubled by Bejing's treatment of ethnic and of Chen.
"We oppose foreign interference into China's internal affairs and judicial sovereignty," said Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei at a briefing Friday whenasked to respond to Clinton's remarks. "When we see reports of lawyers, artists and others who are detained or 'disappeared,' the United States speaks up both publicly and privately," Clinton said.
Chen was sentenced to 4 years and 3 months of prison on charges of "damaging property and disturbing traffic" for which he served his term. The 40-year-old Chen was then supposed to have been set free yet the government upon his release placed him and his family under house arrest.
The Chinese authorities have taken extreme measures to ensure that Chen and his family are off from the world. Not only have they confiscated his computer, and taken away his internet connection, his phone lines have been blocked.
Moreover surveillance cameras have been placed around his home to keep watch on him and his family. According to Amnetsty Internatinonal, "a year [after] his release from prison, Chen Guangcheng still cannot be considered a free man. Both he and his wife remain under strict and restrictive house arrest."
Neither he nor his wife Yuan Weijing have been allowed to leave their house during the past year. This includes not even allowed to leave to shop for groceries. Recently however their 6-year-old daughter was allowed to start attending school.
This past February a video filmed by Chenthat documents the conditions of his life "under house arrest" was smuggled out of China and posted on YouTube. Since the video was released the government has made conditions even more unbearable for the family.
A letter was published by American NGO ChinaAid this past July in which Yuan described 70 plainclothes security personnel that stormed theirhouse and then beat her and Chen husband for over 2 hours. Prior to that, in March, she wrote that officials raided their house a number of times and confiscated personal property that included family photo albumss and even toys that belonged to the couple's daughter.
The governments actions towards Chen Guangcheng and Yuan Weijing's and the couple's grave circumstances have inspired waves of protests by Chinese activists. During recent weeks when supporters have made attempts to visit the home of Chen & Yuan they have been faced with police beatings and intimidation.
"A group of 37 tried to visit at the end of October and were attacked by about 100 unidentified individuals, according to the New York-based organisation Human Rights in China," reports BBC News.
To place pressure on Chinese authorities, to do the right thing, and this inhumane persecution of Chen Guangcheng and his family visit: http://action.amnesty.org.uk/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1194&ea.campaign.id=8256
According to a report obtained by Women's Rights Without Frontiers, "Since Chen’s investigation exposed the fact that there were 130,000 forced abortions and sterilizations in Linyi in 2005, he was jailed for four years and three months. He remains under house arrest, where he has been tortured and denied medical treatment. His health is in jeopardy. Thousands will celebrate Chen’s 40th birthday today, November 12."
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