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Now Chen speaks to Americans about the torturous population control system that the Chinese government has in place and the abusive tactics officials used to force compliance.
"If a family hasn't obtained a birth permit, whether it's their second child or their first one, the women are kidnapped and taken to a hospital where they are forced to have their babies killed," says Chen, talking about the family planning policy in China.
Chen's investigation, arrest, and passion for human rightsChen is a self-taught human rights lawyer who investigated and reported on the corruption of the Chinese government. In 2005 he researched the Chinese government's forced abortion family planning policy.
Chen's studies revolve around 130,000 cases of pregnant women, who were forced to have abortions. He also documented 600,000 accounts of abuse that family members, friends, and neighbors undertook for helping hide pregnant women.
When the government found out about Chen's research in 2005, they arrested him, abused him and his family, and imprisoned him for four years. After stealing from his family and harassing them, they placed Chen under house arrest for another two years. He escaped soon after, making it to a US embassy. Now he lives in the United States, speaking out about the abuses to those who will listen.
"You literally have got to have permission from the government to have your own child," he said.
Chen testified before Congress, providing the subcommittee of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs with a list of "corrupt officials" in Communist China he said that were responsible for no fewer than 130,000 forced abortions in less than one year.
"The officials who are on this list have continuously, in the past, persecuted me and my family," said Chen as he held up the document. "These corrupt officials - they have this blood on their hands!"
The abuses Chen's family faced for speaking outIn 2011, Chen's wife, Yuan Weijing, talked about the abuses her family faced, "On March 3, they sealed our windows with sheets of metal. On March 6 they cut off electric power. At midnight of March 7, the guards crept into our home and cut off our TV antenna. On March 8, Zhang Jiang led 40-50 men, storming into my home and took away our computer, some hand written materials and all of the materials about Chen Guangcheng's case." She recalls Zhang "punching my head with his fist because I confronted him by asking why they were robbing us."
She said they returned 10 days later with 50 soldiers carrying large sacks. "They sacked all of our property which they thought they should take into the bags, including all of our books, pictures, Chen's blind cane, all of our papers, etc. On March 22, they installed two video cameras on our home gate and southwest corner of our courtyard so they can monitor my home completely."
The shocking abuses that Chen reported to the US CongressAfter escaping to a US embassy, Chen fled to the United States and in 2005, testified to the United States Congress with an investigative report detailing several wicked abuses. A UK-based organization, Women's Rights Without Frontiers, has published an English translation of the report which includes:
• A photo of a full term baby floating in the bucket in which it was drowned
• Family planning officials forcing a grandmother and her brother to beat each other.
• Family planning officials breaking three brooms over the head of an elderly man
• Family planning officials stabbing a man to death when he attempted to seize his sister before a forced sterilization
• Detainment, fining, and the torturing of countless extended family members
• Villagers forced to sleep in fields in order to evade China's family planning enforcers
In response to Chen's investigation, US Representative Chris Smith said, "It took a blind man to really see the injustice of a population control program that makes most brothers and sisters illegal and to hear the desperate cries of Chinese women. It took a blind man ... to open the eyes of a blind world to these human rights violations systematically inflicted on Chinese women."