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Did Obama betray a Chinese hero?

Posted by on May. 3, 2012 at 8:32 AM
  • 16 Replies

CNN) -- When the blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng staged his astonishing escape from house arrest, he sought American protection at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. Six days later, when Chen left the embassy for a local hospital, it looked as if U.S. officials had found a solution that, as the State Department put it, "reflected his choices and our values."

One official at the U.S. Embassy said Chen was so grateful for America's help that he told Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the phone, "I would like to kiss you."

But the picture is starting to change, with signs emerging that the Obama administration failed to effectively protect Chen.



Did the United States betray the Chinese human rights lawyer?

Continued...






Fear of serious injury alone cannot justify oppression of free speech and assembly. Men feared witches and burnt women. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears.
Louis D. Brandeis
by on May. 3, 2012 at 8:32 AM
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Replies (1-10):
UpSheRises
by Platinum Member on May. 3, 2012 at 8:36 AM
1 mom liked this

He was in the custody of the US for 7 days and never said he felt that his life or the lives of his wife and children were in danger. He asked to be relocated to a different province, to receive a formal education (as he is a self taught lawyer), and to have regular contact with the US & medical professionals.

If he thought he was in danger he might have mentioned it before we released him.

stormcris
by Christy on May. 3, 2012 at 8:41 AM

He also thought he was safe and going to the US the last I read before this came out. 

What is troubling to me is:

The United States said a deal with China would set Chen free and allow him to relocate within the country along with his family and attend a university. But Chen has told CNN that the U.S. government let him down. The United States insists the activist left the diplomatic compound willingly and wanted to remain in China. However, Chen said he fears for his life, his wife's safety and wants to leave the country. More troubling, he claims that U.S. officials, instead of extending their protection, pressured him to leave the safety of the embassy.

Chen's unexpected request for shelter at the U.S. Embassy created a terrible dilemma for Washington. Months ago, Clinton had already spoken on his behalf, as human rights groups characterized his detention as wholly illegal.

But Chen's escape to the U.S. Embassy came at the worst possible moment, with Clinton about to visit Beijing forhigh level meetings on other crucial issues.


Quoting UpSheRises:

He was in the custody of the US for 7 days and never said he felt that his life or the lives of his wife and children were in danger. He asked to be relocated to a different province, to receive a formal education (as he is a self taught lawyer), and to have regular contact with the US & medical professionals.

If he thought he was in danger he might have mentioned it before we released him.


Fear of serious injury alone cannot justify oppression of free speech and assembly. Men feared witches and burnt women. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears.
Louis D. Brandeis
UpSheRises
by Platinum Member on May. 3, 2012 at 8:46 AM

I see. I listened to an interview on NPR last night with a former ambassador (i think) who was directly involved in the negotiations. He said that based on what he was a part of there was no indication given that Chen feared for his life and he was surprised by the media reports, but didn't comment much beyond that.

He did say though, that the US was committed to helping this dude. I hope we are but it kind of begs the question...out of the billions of people whose live are in danger and could really use our help...why so much focus on Chen?

Quoting stormcris:

He also thought he was safe and going to the US the last I read before this came out. 

What is troubling to me is:

The United States said a deal with China would set Chen free and allow him to relocate within the country along with his family and attend a university. But Chen has told CNN that the U.S. government let him down. The United States insists the activist left the diplomatic compound willingly and wanted to remain in China. However, Chen said he fears for his life, his wife's safety and wants to leave the country. More troubling, he claims that U.S. officials, instead of extending their protection, pressured him to leave the safety of the embassy.

Chen's unexpected request for shelter at the U.S. Embassy created a terrible dilemma for Washington. Months ago, Clinton had already spoken on his behalf, as human rights groups characterized his detention as wholly illegal.

But Chen's escape to the U.S. Embassy came at the worst possible moment, with Clinton about to visit Beijing forhigh level meetings on other crucial issues.


Quoting UpSheRises:

He was in the custody of the US for 7 days and never said he felt that his life or the lives of his wife and children were in danger. He asked to be relocated to a different province, to receive a formal education (as he is a self taught lawyer), and to have regular contact with the US & medical professionals.

If he thought he was in danger he might have mentioned it before we released him.



rocketracer
by Silver Member on May. 3, 2012 at 8:47 AM
1 mom liked this

The situation is still fluid.  His family and he should be given political asylum in the US.  Let's hope it turns out they are allowed to come to the US.

rocketracer
by Silver Member on May. 3, 2012 at 8:48 AM

Activist Chen Guangcheng: Let Me Leave China on Hillary Clinton’s Plane

In an exclusive interview with The Daily Beast’s Melinda Liu, blind dissident Chen Guangcheng says he’s been abandoned by American officials at a Chinese hospital and begs to leave the country on Hillary Clinton’s plane.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/05/02/activist-chen-guangcheng-let-me-leave-china-on-hillary-clinton-s-plane.html?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=exclusive_breaking_news&cid=newsletter%3Bemail%3Bexclusive_breaking_news&utm_term=Breaking%20News%20and%20Exclusives

stormcris
by Christy on May. 3, 2012 at 8:52 AM

Chen sought us out after being imprisoned after basically calling China on their eugenics actions resulting in forced abortions and sterilization unfairly aimed at the poor and disabled. 

China had demanded an appolgy for interfering in Chinese domestic affairs over this. I feel it is going to be very bad if we cave in to this.

Quoting UpSheRises:

I see. I listened to an interview on NPR last night with a former ambassador (i think) who was directly involved in the negotiations. He said that based on what he was a part of there was no indication given that Chen feared for his life and he was surprised by the media reports, but didn't comment much beyond that.

He did say though, that the US was committed to helping this dude. I hope we are but it kind of begs the question...out of the billions of people whose live are in danger and could really use our help...why so much focus on Chen?

Quoting stormcris:

He also thought he was safe and going to the US the last I read before this came out. 

What is troubling to me is:

The United States said a deal with China would set Chen free and allow him to relocate within the country along with his family and attend a university. But Chen has told CNN that the U.S. government let him down. The United States insists the activist left the diplomatic compound willingly and wanted to remain in China. However, Chen said he fears for his life, his wife's safety and wants to leave the country. More troubling, he claims that U.S. officials, instead of extending their protection, pressured him to leave the safety of the embassy.

Chen's unexpected request for shelter at the U.S. Embassy created a terrible dilemma for Washington. Months ago, Clinton had already spoken on his behalf, as human rights groups characterized his detention as wholly illegal.

But Chen's escape to the U.S. Embassy came at the worst possible moment, with Clinton about to visit Beijing forhigh level meetings on other crucial issues.


Quoting UpSheRises:

He was in the custody of the US for 7 days and never said he felt that his life or the lives of his wife and children were in danger. He asked to be relocated to a different province, to receive a formal education (as he is a self taught lawyer), and to have regular contact with the US & medical professionals.

If he thought he was in danger he might have mentioned it before we released him.




Fear of serious injury alone cannot justify oppression of free speech and assembly. Men feared witches and burnt women. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears.
Louis D. Brandeis
EmilyMarshall
by on May. 3, 2012 at 8:54 AM
bump


rocketracer
by Silver Member on May. 3, 2012 at 8:56 AM

I hope the US doesn't cave, but, sadly, China is the US's PayDay Loan service provider.

Quoting stormcris:

Chen sought us out after being imprisioned after basically calling China on their eugenics actions resulting in forced abortions and sterilization unfairly aimed at the poor and disabled. 

China had demanded an appolgy for interfering in Chinese domestic affairs over this. I feel it is going to be very bad if we cave in to this.

Quoting UpSheRises:

I see. I listened to an interview on NPR last night with a former ambassador (i think) who was directly involved in the negotiations. He said that based on what he was a part of there was no indication given that Chen feared for his life and he was surprised by the media reports, but didn't comment much beyond that.

He did say though, that the US was committed to helping this dude. I hope we are but it kind of begs the question...out of the billions of people whose live are in danger and could really use our help...why so much focus on Chen?

Quoting stormcris:

He also thought he was safe and going to the US the last I read before this came out. 

What is troubling to me is:

The United States said a deal with China would set Chen free and allow him to relocate within the country along with his family and attend a university. But Chen has told CNN that the U.S. government let him down. The United States insists the activist left the diplomatic compound willingly and wanted to remain in China. However, Chen said he fears for his life, his wife's safety and wants to leave the country. More troubling, he claims that U.S. officials, instead of extending their protection, pressured him to leave the safety of the embassy.

Chen's unexpected request for shelter at the U.S. Embassy created a terrible dilemma for Washington. Months ago, Clinton had already spoken on his behalf, as human rights groups characterized his detention as wholly illegal.

But Chen's escape to the U.S. Embassy came at the worst possible moment, with Clinton about to visit Beijing forhigh level meetings on other crucial issues.


Quoting UpSheRises:

He was in the custody of the US for 7 days and never said he felt that his life or the lives of his wife and children were in danger. He asked to be relocated to a different province, to receive a formal education (as he is a self taught lawyer), and to have regular contact with the US & medical professionals.

If he thought he was in danger he might have mentioned it before we released him.


 



Veni.Vidi.Vici.
by on May. 3, 2012 at 8:59 AM

China is a volatile and needs to be handled with kid gloves. I support our country for stepping in and trying to empower and protect people that are human rights activists. BUT everything the US does directly and indirectly has a ripple effect. I'm sure there are white house strategists working diligently on a best case scenario, worst case scenario and a happy (not so happy) somewhere-in-the-middle scenario that will result in a whirlwind of backlash.


This is not just about Chen. It is about universal principles of human rights, really, and about America's willingness to defend them on the global stage. The whole world is watching.The US, as well as the POTUS cannot police the world.  I say to this, "And?"

rocketracer
by Silver Member on May. 3, 2012 at 9:02 AM

I wonder how much influence Chinese banks will have in working out those scenarios.

Quoting Veni.Vidi.Vici.:

China is a volatile and needs to be handled with kid gloves. I support our country for stepping in and trying to empower and protect people that are human rights activists. BUT everything the US does directly and indirectly has a ripple effect. I'm sure there are white house strategists working diligently on a best case scenario, worst case scenario and a happy (not so happy) somewhere-in-the-middle scenario that will result in a whirlwind of backlash.


This is not just about Chen. It is about universal principles of human rights, really, and about America's willingness to defend them on the global stage. The whole world is watching.The US, as well as the POTUS cannot police the world.  I say to this, "And?"


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