ChinaAid: Free activist Chen Guangcheng

Feb. 10, 2011 at 9:28 AM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- The advocacy group ChinaAid says video it obtained shows the persecution of human rights activist Chen Guangcheng and his family by Chinese authorities.

ChinaAid, which has offices in Texas, said the video is the first news of the blind activist in five months. It said Chen has been under "illegal house arrest since his release from prison."

Chen completed a 51-month prison sentence in September "for exposing the truth behind China's family planning policy and its large-scale government practice of forced abortions," said Bob Fu of ChinaAid.

Fu said he obtained the video from a sympathizer in China. It shows a Chinese man peering over a pile of brush into Chen's dilapidated farm house. Fu said as many as 22 people conduct surveillance on Chen's home 24-hours a day.

"Chen Guangcheng is a hero to many people around the world, a peaceful advocate for human rights and a defender of society's most vulnerable, its women and children," said Fu, who is in Washington to discuss human rights and religious freedom with American political and religious leaders.

"The world community should act to secure his unconditional release," Fu said. "We cannot believe that China is serious about the rule of law when Chen Guangcheng, Gao Zhisheng and other rights advocates are jailed, disappeared, or harassed."

Time magazine named Chen "one of the 100 people most influential in shaping our world" in 2006 and he has won several other human rights prizes, including the Ramon Magsaysay Award.

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