Friday, May 4, 2012

CHINESE DISSIDENT CALLS IN TO U.S. CONGRESSIONAL EMERGENCY HEARING


CHINESE DISSIDENT CALLS IN TO U.S. CONGRESSIONAL EMERGENCY HEARING

WASHINGTON, DC Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Congressional-Executive Commission on China held an emergency hearing on recent developments in the Chen Guangcheng case. During the hearing, Mr. Chen made unexpected remarks by speaker phone. Watch a C-SPAN clip of the phone conversation HERE.



On Friday morning, the US State Department announced that Mr Chen had been offered a fellowship at an American university. The State Department said the U.S. would allow his wife and children to accompany him, according to BBC News. The Washington Post is reporting that Chinese authorities are telling Mr. Chen that he will have to return to his home village and apply for an exit visa, which is standard procedure in China.

At the hearing, witnesses discussed details of the escape of blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng from illegal house arrest to safety at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. They also spoke about U.S-Chinese negotiations, Mr. Chen’s work as an activist against forced-abortions, and human rights abuses in China.

In addition, witnesses provided recommendations to the U.S. and Chinese officials regarding the safety of Chen Guangcheng and providing him with political asylum.

During the hearing Pastor Bob Fu, who is the Founder and President of the ChinaAid Association, set up an unexpected conference call with Chen Guangcheng in which he said that he wants to temporarily come to the U.S. and would like to speak with Secretary Clinton in person.

Chen escaped from his home, where he had been detained without charge for 19 months, on April 22 and met the U.S. Ambassador to China and Administration Officials at the U.S. Embassy, where he received medical treatment. Chen stayed at the Embassy for six days while U.S. and Chinese officials negotiated an agreement for Chen to safely stay in the country and resume a normal life with his family.

After officials reached an agreement, Chen left the U.S. Embassy Wednesday and went to a nearby hospital where he is receiving treatment for a leg injury sustained during his escape.

The most recent development is that Chen now says he wants to leave China for the United States. His lawyer stated that Chen and his family feel insecure in the hands of Chinese authorities.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry has criticized the U.S. for their involvement in a domestic Chinese affair and demanded an apology.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Wednesday afternoon that there were "U.S. officials in the building" with Chen at the hospital and that they would continue to visit him there.