Join the Dark Glasses Portrait Campaign

Support Chen By Sending in a Picture With Dark Glasses

As we celebrate the confirmation that Chen is alive many of you are no doubt wondering, “What can I do to help support Chen?”

In addition to spreading the word about Chen’s case and praying for his release, there is a simple and yet profound way to show your support for Chen. Take a picture of yourself with sunglasses on and and email it to us by clicking here.

Chen was born blind and given no formal education. Despite this he stood up to defend the weak and helpless, speaking fearlessly against corruption in the Communist bureaucracy. All over China the face of Chen Guangcheng with the signature dark glasses of the blind, is a symbol of the fight for liberty and freedom in China.

It is illegal in China to support human rights activists such as Chen Guangcheng, but a simple picture of a person wearing sunglasses evades the  censorship of China’s Communist regime.

A Chinese political cartoonist and satirist known only as Crazy Crab combined hundreds of these pictures into this portrait of Chen. Chen has been an inspiration to us all and now it is our turn to show support. We hope that he will hear of our efforts on his behalf and be encouraged.

We encourage you to read the press release from our friends at Women’s Rights Without Frontiers below. We are excited that a human rights activist such as Congressman Chris Smith has chosen to support this campaign. We pray that Chen will be free soon.

In HIS Grace
Ann Buwalda
Executive Director
Jubilee Campaign

U.S. Lawmaker Stands Up for Blind Forced Abortion Opponent Chen Guangcheng by Wearing Sunglasses

Washington, D.C.  Congressman Chris Smith has demonstrated his ongoing commitment to free Chen Guangcheng in yet another way:  by wearing sunglasses.  After the Congressional-Executive Commission on China hearing Tuesday, Congressman Smith joined Reggie Littlejohn, President of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, to be photographed next to a large image of Chen, in connection with WRWF’s Sunglasses Campaign.

Littlejohn stated, “For the past three decades, Congressman Smith has been the most powerful and persistent voice on Capitol Hill for human rights in China. He has held dozens of hearings, exposing the truth about forced abortion, the persecution of Christians, and other human rights abuses. He has worked tirelessly on behalf of Chen Guangcheng, sponsoring a bill on his behalf, trying to visit him, and now supporting the international Sunglasses Campaign.”

WRWF launched an international Sunglasses Campaign to support a similar campaign within China.  People from around the world have donned sunglasses and emailed their portraits to the WRWF website, to support Chen.  A Chinese political cartoonist, whose pen name is “Crazy Crab,” created the image of Chen using hundreds of these sunglasses portraits.

In her Congressional testimony Tuesday, Littlejohn quoted a key Chinese activist who said, “I think it’s very helpful for people all over the world to show they care about Chen through the Sunglasses Campaigns.  I think it’s very important to show support inside and outside the country – we can work together.” These campaigns are spearheaded by Women’s Rights Without Frontiers and Dark Glasses Portrait.

In answer to Congressman Smith’s question at the hearing about whether a double-standard is applied in Western policy towards China, Littlejohn criticized Vice President Biden for his remark, made in China, that he “fully understands” China’s One Child Policy, and yet is “not second-guessing” it.   She stated, “If it’s not ok in the United States, it’s not ok in China either.  That statement really undermined the moral credibility of the United States on the world international scene.”

Littlejohn called upon the Chinese government to grant a visa to Congressman Smith so that he can visit Chen.  She also urged U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke to seek access to Chen.  Beyond this, she urged supporters of Chen to intensify their efforts to advocate for his freedom.

The CECC hearing was held to commemorate the December 10 anniversary of the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony for still-imprisoned dissident, Liu Xiaobo.

Join the Chen Sunglasses Freedom Campaign or in Chinese at Dark Glasses Portrait

Sign the Free Chen petition

Chen Guangcheng Confirmed Alive

Public Attention Forced Authorities to Improve Prison Conditions

We are very pleased to tell you that Chen Guangcheng is alive! As you may remember we received reports that in early October that Chen had died under the brutal regimen euphemistically called “soft detention” a form of house arrest which includes periodic torture sessions and denies the prisoner sufficient food or medical attention.

Chen’s health has never recovered from the torture and denial of medical treatment he received in prison. Beating a man nearly to death is a tricky business, particularly when the man is already in poor health. When we received the report our last confirmation that Chen was alive on July 28. As this was just before he and his wife received another visit from the local Communist officials and their bullyboys we feared the worst.

Fortunately, we have now received confirmation that Chen is alive and that his conditions have improved somewhat, mainly due to the public attention both in the West and in China, itself. Some of his relatives are being permitted to bring him food and medicine and we pray that his health will improve.

We encourage you to read the press release from friends at Women’s Rights Without Frontiers and pray particularly for the Congressional Hearings and press events on Chen which will take place later this week. Remember that despite all our efforts it will take a genuine work of God to free Chen Guangcheng. We pray that work comes soon.

Blind Forced Abortion Opponent Chen Guangcheng Reported Alive

LINYI, CHINA.  A reliable source inside China told Women’s Rights Without Frontiers that forced abortion opponent Chen Guangcheng is alive.  An unconfirmed report went out in early October that Chen had died under house arrest.
According to this source, who requested anonymity, “Now his mother is allowed to go outside to buy food although escorted by three guards, and his health also is getting better.”

The source attributed the improved treatment of Chen to the fact that “Chen’s situation was exposed and got huge public attention.”  One campaign that brought considerable visibility to Chen’s plight was the flow of concerned citizens attempting to visit him for his fortieth birthday on November 12.  Many of these citizens were beaten and detained.

In addition, the “Chen Sunglasses Freedom” campaigns inside and outside of China have raised the visibility of his case.   These campaigns post photos of people wearing sunglasses in support of Chen.  The source stated, “I think it’s great.  I think it’s very helpful for people all over the world to show they care about Chen through the Sunglasses campaigns.  I think it’s very important to show support inside and outside the country – we can work together.”  These campaigns are spearheaded by Women’s Rights Without Frontiers and Dark Glasses Portrait.

The source also commended the video, “Free Chen Guangcheng,” saying that watching this video has inspired many to take action.   “People inside China weep when they watch it,” she said.


The source continued, “Chen’s situation has indeed improved.  I have just sent him some medicine and covered the expenses for his family in the market . . . Some relatives can visit his mother and deliver some items under surveillance.”

The source cautioned, however, that the slightly improved condition of Chen’s house arrest is not a reason to relax the campaign to free him.  Most relatives of Chen and his wife are not allowed to visit, including their son and his wife’s parents.  Moreover, the fact that Chen is now allowed food and medicine “is still far away from our basic request, that is, Chen should be freed right away, according to China’s own law.”

According to the source, the persecution of Chen supporters continues. An activist who announced that she would wear sunglasses in Linyi’s central square this weekend was detained on Thursday.   Also Thursday, another activist from Yantai and a writer from Beijing, were arrested in Shandong attempting to distribute plastic bags and balloons bearing Chen’s image, in honor of International Day of Person’s with Disabilities, celebrated December 3.

Reggie Littlejohn, President of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, stated, “We are thrilled and relieved that Chen is alive and his health is improving.   This improved treatment demonstrates the power of the collaborative effort inside and outside China to raise the visibility of his case.  We greatly admire the brave citizens inside China, who are risking their safety to stand up for Chen.”

Littlejohn added, “We commend the courageous and persistent efforts of Rep. Chris Smith to visit Chen and urge the Chinese government to grant him a visa.  We also urge U.S. Ambassador to China, Gary Locke, to visit Chen. We demand the immediate, unqualified release of Chen Guangcheng and his family. Chen’s ongoing house arrest is illegal and his medical condition remains weak.”

Littlejohn will testify regarding Chen’s case before the Congressional-Executive Commission on China at a hearing to be held on Tuesday, December 6 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., location TBA.  On Wednesday, December 7, she will appear on Voice of America China Branch’s program, “Issues and Opinions,” broadcast throughout China at 9:00 a.m. EST.

Chen’s investigation exposed the fact that there were 130,000 forced abortions and sterilizations under China’s One Child Policy, in Linyi County in 2005.  He was jailed for four years and three months, during which time he was tortured and denied medical treatment.  He and his family remain under house arrest.

Join the Chen Sunglasses Freedom Campaign.

Watch the video, “Free Chen Guangcheng

Sign the Free Chen petition here.

The Casefiles of Chen Guangcheng

See the Documents Which First Resulted in Chen’s Imprisonment

As you know Chen Guangcheng has suffered imprisonment, deprivation, torture, and lack of medical treatment. After four years of unjust imprisonment he and his family were placed under brutal house arrest. Chen has been forced to watch communist officials beat his wife bloody before torturing him into unconsciousness.

We have known in general terms, that the local Communist officials were punishing Chen for revealing over 130,000 forced abortions and sterilizations in a single county in a single year. On November 12th, in honor of the Chen’s fortieth birthday, our friends at Women’s rights without Frontiers released the Chen Casefiles. These files directly document a series of incidents which Chen hoped to use in a class action suit against the brutal Family Planning Unit of Linyi County. The full press release from Women’s Rights Without Frontiers is below.

We encourage you to use this report to inform your prayers, not just for Chen Guangcheng but for China itself. Pray for the women of China, pray for the unborn children who are subject to this heinous crime and finally, do not forget to pray for Chen Guangcheng and his family.

Chen Guangcheng’s Report Released: Forced Abortion and Sterilization

LINYI, CHINA.  Women’s Rights Without Frontiers has obtained a report from Chen Guangcheng’s 2005 investigation into coercive family planning in Linyi County, Shandong Province. This report was drafted by human rights attorney, Teng Biao.  Read the report here.

Since Chen’s investigation exposed the fact that there were 130,000 forced abortions and sterilizations in Linyi in 2005, he was jailed for four years and three months.  He remains under house arrest, where he has been tortured and denied medical treatment.  His health is in jeopardy. Thousands will celebrate Chen’s 40th birthday today, November 12.

Women’s Rights Without Frontiers President, Reggie Littlejohn, stated, “It is an honor to release this report on the 40th birthday of Chen Guangcheng.  For the first time, the world can read actual witness statements from cases that landed Chen in jail.  The Chinese Communist Party has attempted to silence Chen, but they cannot silence the voices of millions in China crying for freedom.”

In this report are accounts of a woman forcibly aborted and sterilized at seven months; villagers sleeping in fields to evade Family Planning Officials; Officials who broke three brooms over the head of an elderly man and forced a grandmother and her brother to beat each other. There is a detailed discussion of the practice of “implication” – the detention, fining and torture of the extended family of One Child Policy “violators.”

“Chen is suffering for doing what we are doing:  exposing the truth behind forced abortion and sterilization in China,” Littlejohn said.  “A report went out that Chen may have paid for this with his life, so we are even more determined to carry on this work in his name.  We demand the immediate release and medical attention for Chen and his family.”

Things may not have improved in Linyi since 2005.  Earlier this year, Family Planning Officials stabbed a man to death. In addition, a woman who was six months pregnant recently died during a forced abortion in Lijing County, also in Shandong Province.

“The spirit of the Cultural Revolution lives on in China’s Family Planning death machine.  We have chosen to release the names of the perpetrators of these crimes against humanity, so that they can be held accountable before the world,” said Littlejohn.

Littlejohn urges those who support Chen to join the Chen Sunglasses Freedom Campaign.

“People everywhere are taking a picture of themselves wearing sunglasses in honor of Chen, and sending it to be posted on the WRWF website and Free Chen websites inside China, showing that they care about Chen and want him to be free.”

Sign a petition to free Chen here.

Jubilee Campaign Participates in a Panel Discussion at the Family Research Council

This Wednesday October 26th, our very own Ann Buwalda participated in a Panel Discussion at the Family Research Council.

The topic of International Religious Persecution is very near and dear to our hearts at Jubilee Campaign. We see the critical impact that U.S. foreign policy has on the survival of religious minorities in both positive and negative ways.

Unfortunately as the panel discussion revealed, over the past 13 years religious persecution has grown significantly around the world and the U.S. has still not really engaged on the issue.

Click Here to watch a video of the Panel Discussion. Ann’s presentation begins at 17:29 and her prepared remarks are below.

The Panel Discussion was noted in articles by the Washington Post and the Christian Post.

Prepared Remarks

October 26, 2011

The Urgent Need for the United States to Engage an International Religious Freedom Policy

I would like to thank the Family Research Council for hosting this panel discussion and for drawing everyone’s attention to The Pew Forum report entitled, “Rising Restrictions on Religion.” The Pew Forum’s report found that restrictions on religious beliefs and practices rose during the three year period between mid-2006 and mid-2009 in 23 of the world’s 198 countries or 12% of the world’s countries. However, due to the population sizes of countries found to have restricted religious freedom, 32% of the world’s population suffered a decline in their freedom to practice their faith.

Most of the period of time covered by The Pew Forum study occurred during the Bush administration. Most people would agree that the Bush administration did make international religious freedom a key aspect of its foreign policy goals. Despite the Bush administration’s more overt efforts to protect international religious freedom than prior administrations and certainly than the current administration, one-third of the world’s population experienced an increase in restrictions according to the Pew Forum’s report.

Will the Obama’s administration diminished foreign policy emphasis on international religious freedom continuing this downward trend of countries curtailing religious freedom? So far, the answer appears to be dramatically, “yes.” The need for the United States to engage countries to protect religious freedom is more urgent today than ever before.

Consider these examples of current, real time urgency:

Libya

Within hoursof the death of Dictator Muammar Gaddafi this past week, the transitional government declared that Shari’a or Islamic Law will be the basis of all law, which likely exceeds the demands of the more secular society within Libya as well as the pre-Gaddafi constitution. Although Libya’s ambassador to the United States is seeking to downplay the impact of setting up a religious rather than a secular civil society, banning the charging of interest in lending is hardly an example of moderation. Considering the $140 million in aid given to Libya since the start of the uprising, one would have hoped that the recent visit by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Libya would have at least included religious freedom on the agenda. If in fact religious freedom was mentioned by Secretary Clinton, the subsequent Shari’a law announcement by the transitional leadership appears to disregard any recommendation for a secular society.

Egypt

An increase of attacks in frequency and brutality against The Coptic Christian minority in Egypt has occurred since January of this year. Muslim extremists and the military have been involved in numerous attacks on peaceful Christian demonstrations and on Coptic houses of worship this year. Two brutal examples occurred this month. On Monday, October 3, Muslims surrounded and attempted to demolish the St. Mary’s Church in the Upper Egyptian village of Elmadmar, in the Tema district, in the Sohag province. On October 9, the military attacked a Peaceful Coptic protest resulting in reports of up to 27 dead and over 300 persons wounded as a result, these numbers according to Coptic Solidarity Press Release. The situation for Coptic Christian minorities is not getting better, and Coptic Christians are fleeing Egypt in droves. My office has been receiving phone calls from panicked Coptic Christians in Cairo pleading for help to flee the country.

Iraq

Despite the best efforts of the Bush Administration to seek religious freedom for a significant minority population, in Iraq hundreds of thousands of minorities have been forced to flee. Most estimates claim 1.2 million to 1.5 million Christian minorities lived in Iraq prior to the removal of Dictator Saddam Hussein. Some reports state that less than 345,000 Christians now remain in Iraq, and some estimates go as low as 150,000. The Sabean-Mandeans report their population has declined from approximately 100,000 before the war to less than 5,000 today. Religious minorities have been forced out by uncontrolled murders, kidnappings, and violence against houses of worship.

Afghanistan

The Afghan Constitution does not support the freedom of religious choice. Shari’a Law is found as the source of its legal underpinnings as Article 3 of the Afghan Constitution. The recently released U.S. Department of States’ International Religious Freedom report noted that there is no longer any public Christian church in that country. Likewise, the once significant Jewish minority has been expunged from the country.

Iran

Always hostile towards anyone found who has converted away from Islam, Iran launched a public and aggressive effort to arrest their citizens participating in Christian church activity. Following the arrest of over 150 converts to Christianity in December 2010 and January 2011, currently, at least eight Iranian Christians are still imprisoned for their faith. Six have spent several months in jail. One, Pastor Yousef Naderkhani, has been sentenced to death solely because of his conversion away from Islam.

Pakistan

Pakistan’s religious-based oppression of minorities was dramatically highlighted by the March 2, 2011, assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti. Bhatti, the Federal Minister for Minority Affairs, was the sole Christian in the cabinet and a staunch opponent of Pakistan’s infamous blasphemy laws. The blasphemy laws are a major player in the destabilization of Pakistan. The trial of Asia Bibi, accused of blasphemy by a neighbor, and the suspicious death of Qamar David, serving a life sentence for blasphemy are recent examples of the ongoing persecution these laws encourage. Each year an average of 45 Pakistanis are charged with blasphemy, and the discrimination encompasses Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Ahmadis, other minority groups, and has even been used against other Muslims.

According to the Pew Forum report, the rising restrictions on religion have occurred in each of these countries.

  • Libya’s Government Restrictions are High and have increased significantly over the past three years. Its Social Hostility is Moderate, and did not increase significantly over the past three years

  • Egypt’s Government Restrictions are Very High and increased significantly over the past three years. Its Social Hostility is also Very High, but did not increase significantly over the past three years

  • Iraq’s Government Restrictions are High and did not increase significantly over the past three years. Its Social Hostility is Very High and did not increase significantly over the past three years.

  • Afghanistan’s Government Restrictions are High and did not increase significantly over the past three years. Its Social Hostility is Very High and did not increase significantly over the past three years.

  • Iran’s Government Restrictions are Very High and did not increase significantly over the past three years. Its Social Hostility is High and did not increase significantly over the past three years.

  • Pakistan’s Government Restrictions are High and did not increase significantly over the past three years. Its Social Hostility is Very High and did not increase significantly over the past three years.

Clearly, the “Arab Spring” has turned into the “Arab Winter” for minorities in affected countries. During this time of dramatic change in several countries in the Middle East and Central Asia, the United States needs to assertively engage emerging governments to ensure religious freedom for all citizens including minorities. Yet, this administration seems to be backing down at the worst possible time on this crucial issue. Some of the consequences of failure to engage IRF within our foreign policy thrust are a rise in refugees and the internally displaced and a rise in violence perpetrated against minorities.

Jubilee Campaign promotes the human rights and religious liberty of ethnic and religious minorities; advocates the release of prisoners of conscience imprisoned on account of their faith; advocates for and assists refugees fleeing religious based persecution; and protects and promotes the dignity and safety of children from bodily harm and sexual exploitation. Jubilee Campaign holds special consultative status with ECOSOC at the United Nations.

Chen Guangcheng Alive As Of July 28th

Valiant Lawyer Tortured In Front of His Family For Contacting the Outside World

On October 10th we passed on to you unconfirmed reports that Chen Guangcheng may have been killed by Chinese authorities. We now know that as of July 28th Chen was still alive. Unfortunately, as the article below details, on July 28th he was brutally beaten in front of his wife and four year old son by local Chinese officials.

Chen first drew the ire of the Communist government of China by exposing government abuse and brutality in the course of over 100,000 forced abortions in a single Chinese county in a single year. Since then Chen has become a living example of the inhuman brutality of the Communist regime enduring beatings, denial of medical treatment and even deprivation of food. To learn more please watch the Free Chen Guangcheng! video made by our friends at Women’s Rights Without Frontiers.

We ask that you continue to pray for Chen and his family. We will keep you informed as more information continues to escape the media blackout imposed by the Communist government. If you have not yet done so, please add your names to the petition asking for Chen’s release. As always, we thank you, on Chen’s behalf, for all your prayers and support.

Details of Brutal Beating & Torture of Blind Legal Activist Chen Guangcheng Emerge

China Aid Association

(Linyi, Shandong – Oct. 27, 2011) ChinaAid has learned the details of a brutal four-hour beating by local authorities of blind legal activist Chen Guangcheng and his wife, about whom there has been no reliable news for months.

The July beating, which was witnessed by the couple’s elementary school-age son, is but one episode in a pattern of horrific persecution against Chen because he had exposed the violent and deadly measures used by Chinese authorities to enforce the nation’s one-child policy.  The couple endured a similarly brutal beating in February after they had smuggled out a videotape documenting the shocking conditions of their illegal house arrest following Chen’s release from prison.  (See the ChinaAid report)

A reliable source told ChinaAid that the July beating occurred after a storm knocked out equipment that authorities had installed in Chen’s house to cut off all their telecommunications contact with the outside world.  With the equipment disabled, Chen was able to make phone calls on July 25, but the calls were intercepted by authorities.  On July 28, Shuanghou town mayor Zhang Jian led a group of people to Chen’s home and beat and tortured the couple for four hours.

This is the sequence of events:
2 p.m. – authorities clear out everyone from Chen’s village
3 p.m. – authorities conduct an exhaustive search of Chen’s home and find a phone card in a pile of ashes
4 p.m.-authorities start the beating. Chen’s screams of pain were heard first, while his wife Yuan Weijing was heard shouting angrily along with their daughter Kesi’s cries. After a while, Weijing’s screams of pain could also be heard. From then until 8 p.m., the only sounds were screams of pain.

Some time later, a village doctor was permitted to give Chen some cursory medical treatment.

During the four-hour beating, Chen’s elderly mother, who lives with them, was prevented from entering their home.  When she was finally allowed to go in, neighbors heard her burst into tears, and her anguished cries -described as “gut-wrenching to hear” – continued for a long time.

According to the source, Zhang tortured Chen to try to get him to tell how he got the phone card to make the calls on July 25 and to reveal where he had hidden it.  When Chen and his wife refused to give any details, their house was ransacked until the phone card was found in a pile of ashes.

Then the mayor’s men viciously beat up Chen and his wife in the presence of their son Kesi.  “As family men themselves with parents and children, how could they inflict such inhuman pain on a little boy?” the source asked.

ChinaAid’s founder and president Bob Fu said, “We condemn the Shandong authorities for their extreme brutality against innocent blind Chinese legal activist Chen Guangcheng and his wife.”

“The Chinese government’s brutality against  brave individuals like Mr. Chen who promote the rule of law should certainly make the world seriously doubt the sincerity of the Chinese government’s commitment to international  human rights,” Fu said.

Chen was imprisoned for four years and three months for exposing the violent measures used to enforce China’s one-child policy, including forced abortions and involuntary sterilizations that in his county alone in 2005 numbered 130,000.

Since his release from prison in Sept. 2010, Chen has been kept under illegal house arrest, denied medical treatment for serious intestinal problems and deprived of all contact with the outside world.  Reporters and activists who have tried to visit him have been roughed up and turned away.

As a result, there has been no reliable information about Chen and his family for months, although there have been unconfirmed reports this fall that Chen might have been killed by Chinese authorities.

On July 21, the House Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously passed an amendment to the State Department 2012 appropriation bill supporting Chen and his wife. (See ChinaAid’s report)

Please support the cause for which Chen and his wife have paid such a high price and sign this petition to stop forced abortion in China.

ChinaAid Contacts
Bob Fu, President;  Mark Shan, Spokesperson
Tel: 1+ (888) 889-7757    Cell:  (267) 205-5210
Email: Bob@ChinaAid.org Mark@ChinaAid.org
Website: www.ChinaAid.org www.MonitorChina.org