Radio Free China

Human Rights and Religious Freedom News

Blind Chinese Activist Chen Guangcheng’s Final Appeal Rejected

Posted by radiofreechina on January 15, 2007

Chinese Pro-Life Activist’s Final Appeal Rejected
Supporters claim charges are political reprisals for actions against one-child policy

By Hilary White

LINYI, January 15, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A Chinese court has rejected the final appeal by blind pro-life legal activist Chen Guangcheng of his conviction on charges of damaging public property and inciting a mob to disrupt traffic.

On Friday, the Linyi City Intermediate Court upheld the sentence of fifty-one months previously confirmed in November 2006. His supporters have said the charges and trials were political reprisals for his activism against the one-child population control policy.

Chen’s lawyer Li Jinsong vowed to appeal the ruling to the Chinese legislature, the Supreme Court or the Beijing government.

Chen, a self-taught lawyer, had been placed under house arrest after he embarrassed local officials in 2005 by filing a class-action suit alleging that thousands of local people had been forcibly sterilized and subjected to abortions under the one-child policy. The Washington Post reported that a campaign was launched by the Linyi officials to portray Chen as working for “foreign anti-China forces.”

Human rights activists have told international media that the loss of Chen’s appeal is part of a larger scheme of the government to suppress efforts by lawyer activists to draw attention to the plight of peasants and low-income workers. The Washington Post reports that new rules have been announced restricting legal activities in “politically charged” cases outside their home cities.

Chen was convicted and sentenced despite strong objections from US Assistant Secretary of State Ellen Sauerbrey, who heads the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration. Sauerbrey said the US government believes there was “a certain violation of normal standards,” and urged the Chinese government to release him.

Read previous LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Blind Chinese Activist’s Sentence For Exposing Human Rights Abuses Upheld http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/dec/06120406.html

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