【 International Herald Tribune 】   Post Date: 6/28/2012
Activist Chen: Americans Are Unaware of the Extent of China’s Human Rights Violations
Author: Mark McDonald
Chen says that although many Americans hear about some of the more famous cases of human rights abuse, these cases only scratch the surface of the number of violations.  He goes on to say that the central government is terrified of rural unrest and organization because of the sheer number of the dissatisfied in their ranks. 
HONG KONG — Chen Guangcheng seems to be settling in nicely as a visiting scholar at New York University’s law school — a faculty apartment in Greenwich Village for him and his family, and courses in English, American history and law.
 
It wasn’t so long ago that Mr. Chen, 40, was making a dramatic escape from house arrest in his rural village in China, ducking police officials, seeking refuge in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and sparking a diplomatic contretemps that eventually landed him in New York.
 
Mr. Chen has been agreeing to some interviews of late, including a conversation with my colleague Erik Eckholm, and more recently with Ian Johnson of The Times’s Beijing bureau.
 
“People abroad look at China’s human rights situation and they mainly see the situation of better-known people. But they don’t know about all the violations of ordinary people,” Mr. Chen told Ian, whose interview transcript can be seen, on The New York Review of Books blog.
 
“You know my situation but you don’t know the situation of the huge number of the disabled in China, or the women who are bullied and abused, or the orphans in China. You probably don’t know much about them or just about a few of them.
 
“But this is why the officials are so afraid — because they know the true extent of the problem. They are terribly afraid of people organizing. It’s very delicate in the countryside now. This is why they constantly resort to detentions and so on. They don’t even try to find an excuse, they just do it — they are that scared.”
 
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Key Words: Chen Guangcheng, human rights China, political dissidents China
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