Target: U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke
Goal: Thank ambassador for bringing human rights activist Chen Guangcheng to the United States, potentially saving his life
Human rights activist Chen Guangcheng fought for women’s rights, land rights, and disability rights in China. Corrupt Chinese officials fought back by arresting him on trumped-up charges, incarcerating him, and then unlawfully detaining him by house arrest. Thank U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke for his negotiations with China that brought Chen Guangcheng and his family to the United States.
Chen Guangcheng was interested in law at a very young age. But in China, his only career options were an acupuncturist or masseur because of his blindness. He had legal texts read to him and later audited legal courses as an adult. Armed with this knowledge and using his brilliant mind, he petitioned the government on several issues, such as land rights, disability rights, and women’s rights. He kept winning in court, with each victory angering government officials. Speaking out against China’s brutal enforcement of the one-child policy was the last straw.
China’s one-child policy has been heavily criticized because of the brutal tactics used to enforce it. Women and families have been beaten and women dragged to centers to undergo forced abortions and sterilizations. Recently, China had been using financial incentives and fines to enforce this policy, outlawing the previously used barbaric tactics. But Mr. Guangcheng found out that these brutal tactics were still being used in a local city. Approximately 130,000 women had been beaten and held for weeks in “study sessions” for refusing an abortion or sterilization. After submitting a class action lawsuit on behalf of these women, officials retaliated against him, having him arrested and jailed.
After his release, Mr. Chen Guangcheng was still illegally placed under house arrest where he and his wife were repeatedly beaten and threatened. He escaped to the U.S. Embassy in China, where Ambassador Gary Locke was able to secure his and his family’s safety by arranging their visas and residency in the United States. Sign the petition and thank the ambassador for protecting a remarkable hero and strong advocate of human rights.
Dear Ambassador Gary Locke,
Mr. Chen Guangcheng bravely fought against human rights abuses in his native country, which landed him in jail and resulted in his illegal house arrest. After a daring escape to the U.S. Embassy, he was finally safe, but his wife and daughter continued to be in danger. Thank you for negotiating with China on their behalf to have them all granted visas to the United States, ensuring their safety.
The whole world was captivated by Mr. Guangcheng’s story. Blind since childhood, he was a self-taught legal scholar and outspoken human rights activist. Always fighting for the underdog, his perseverance and passion earned him several victories in court. He is a gift to this world. Thank you for arranging his safe arrival to the United States where he will be able to study law at one of our most prestigious universities.
Mr. Chen Guangcheng is a shining example of justice and integrity, facing insurmountable odds against corrupt government officials. You and the United States government are to be commended for your part in participating in his freedom and protection so that he can continue to speak out against injustice and change the world for the better.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: United States Government Work via Flickr.