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Thursday, 18 June 2009

Free Chen Guangcheng!

In December 2006, I wrote about Chen Guangcheng when the Jubilee Campaign organised postcards to be sent to the Chinese Ambassador. He had been imprisoned on 24 August 2006 after exposing and speaking out against the policy of forced abortions and sterilisations in the Shandong Province. Sadly he is still in prison. A petition has been organised to ask the Prime Minister to put pressure on the Chinese authorities to free Chen Guangcheng.

The petition reads:
We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to take whatever action he can to put pressure on the Chinese authorities to secure the release of Chen Guangcheng, a Chinese prisoner of conscience who, on 20th May 2009 has served 1000 days in prison since being sentanced for highligting abuses of the one-child policy of the Chinese authorities, including forced abortions and sterilisations
Further information from petition creator:
Chen Guangcheng is a blind lawyer, currently imprisoned in China for "damaging public property and gathering people to block traffic". However the real reason is more likely to be to prevent him from carrying out his peaceful and legitimate human rights activities, including his efforts to bring local officials to justice for conducting a campaign of forced abortions and sterilisations, possibly affecting thousands of women.

Some reports say that Chen Guangcheng is in extremely poor health, is allowed very little food and drink, has been beaten, and been denied medical treatment as well as stopped from having family members and friends visit.
Sign the petition here. (Deadline 14 October 2009. You have to be a British citizen or resident to sign.)

You can read more about Chen Guancheng at the Friends of Chen website.
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