【 Voice of America 】   Post Date: 8/3/2012
Chinese Activist Chen Guangcheng Meets with US Congress Members
Author: Fangfang Zhang

The blind human rights activist met with the lawmakers in a closed door bi-partisan meeting. Immediately prior to the meeting Chen spoke to the media to express his concern for his nephew, who Chen says was arrested and continues to be held to punish Chen.

CAPITOL HILL — Chen Guangcheng, the blind Chinese dissident, attended a close-door meeting with some top U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday. 

House Speaker John Boehner held the rare bipartisan meeting, joined by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other U.S. legislators.  

In a short press conference before the meeting, Chen expressed strong concerns for his nephew, Chen Kegui, who has been arrested by Chinese authorities. He said the arrest of Chen Kegui is essentially a continuance of his own case.

The United States raised Chen’s case during the 17th US-China Human Rights Dialogue, also expressing concerns about the arrest of his nephew.

Chen said Chinese central government officials have not contacted him for any progress on the open investigation they promised to conduct when he escaped to Beijing from his home town Shandong, where he was held in house arrest.

“If a case as high-profile as mine cannot be properly handled in accordance with Chinese law and with international legal norms,” Chen said, “how are we able to believe that China will respect human rights and the rule of law?”

Chen said the human rights situation in China is deteriorating, which had led to an increasing number of people whose rights have been violated to rise up and protest. “Change in China is inevitable.” he said.

Chen hopes the United States and other democratic nations can support and assist with a smooth transition in China.

House Speaker Boehner said the United States cannot remain silent when fundamental human rights are being violated.

“When it comes to guaranteeing the freedom and dignity of all of her citizens, the Chinese government has a responsibility to do better. And the United States government has a responsibility to hold them to account,” he said.


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Key Words: Chen Guangcheng, human rights China, political dissidents China
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