Chen Guangcheng arriving at the US Capitol flanked by House Speaker John A. Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on August 1, 2012. (Photo/AFP)
DHARAMSHALA, August 2: Chen Guangcheng, the blind Chinese activist, said that the human rights situation in China is deteriorating and warned Beijing of continued protests by Chinese people against rights violations.
“Currently the human rights situation is deteriorating. Great cruelty has resulted from efforts to maintain social stability, resulting in a situation in which there is no ethics, rule of law or justice,” Chen, 40, told top congressional leaders at the US Capitol, Wednesday.
“This has led to [an] increasing number of people whose rights have been violated, and these people have and will rise up in protest.”
The blind activist who left China with his wife and children in April after high-level diplomatic negotiations, called on House Speaker John A. Boehner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers to plead for assistance from the U.S. government in standing up for human rights worldwide.
“Equality, justice and freedom do not have borders, so I hope all of those who pay attention to human rights in China will continue to work diligently in this regard...”
Speaking through an interpreter, Chen accused China of not keeping its promises to investigate the abuses he and his family suffered in China.
"The government further promised to provide for the security of my family. However, it has been more than three months and I have not received any news on the progress of this investigation or even whether it has commenced," he said.
Chen also voiced serious concerns for his nephew Chen Kegui, who was arrested soon after the dissident made a daring escape from 19 months of extralegal house arrest on April 20 from his home village Dongshigu and sought refuge at the US embassy in Beijing.
Chen’s nephew, Chen Kegui is currently in Chinese detention facing charges for ‘deliberate homicide,’ while his older brother, Chen Guangfu was said to have gone under intense torture in the hands of Chinese police in the locality.
Chen, a self-taught lawyer, served a four-year-and-three-month prison term after he helped inhabitants in Linyi, Shandong Province, file a class action lawsuit against the city over its policy of the enforced sterilization and late-term abortions.
Referring to Chen’s two-year detention and journey to the United States, Boehner said he had “great admiration for the courage that he and his family have shown.”
“While our economic relationship with China is important, the United States has an obligation to engage China and press for democratic reforms and improvement in its human rights practices,” Boehner said later. “We cannot remain silent when fundamental human rights are being violated. We cannot remain silent when religious liberty is under attack. We cannot remain silent regarding China’s reprehensible ‘One Child’ policy.”
In addition Chen also met with other senior House leaders including Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Reps. Chris Smith, Joseph Crowley and Adam Smith, all prominent advocates in Congress for improving human rights throughout the world.