Chen Guangcheng: Blind Activist’s US Arrival
Chen Guangcheng: Blind Activist’s US Arrival, Chinese legal activist Chen Guangcheng, who has made it to the USA after taking refuge last month inside the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, called on people worldwide to “fight against injustice.”
Blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng and his wife, Yuan Weijing, smile upon their arrival at the New York University Village apartment complex in Manhattan on Saturday.
Back in China, where the ruling Communist Party controls all judges, prosecutors and police and harasses lawyers who take on cases it dislikes, joining that fight will be a tough proposition.
Human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong, who was beaten by police when he tried to visit Chen in a Beijing hospital this month, said Sunday that the Communist Party is making it difficult to speak one’s mind.
“It’s a great pity that such a person cannot be allowed to live freely in China today,” he said.
Chen arrived in New York City on Saturday to study law in a deal brokered by the United States.
For China’s small, hard-pressed band of rights defenders left behind, including lawyers such as Jiang and self-taught, grass-roots activists like Chen, “the situation is worse now than when Chen was jailed” in 2006, Jiang said.
“It’s very hard to protect rights these days,” said Li Baiguang, a lawyer. “China has excellent laws and policies, but local officials don’t implement them. They are like an independent kingdom.”
Nevertheless, many activists and ordinary citizens continue to seek justice. After a year trying to expose a Communist Party leader in Beijing for corruption, including embezzling funds meant for the disabled, villager Cheng Xueping got her breakthrough in March. A local court ordered an audit of the financial affairs of Shangwan village chief Yang Guohua. (USA TODAY)