Where America Stands Now: Chinese Human Rights Edition

So, it’s come to this: Chinese human rights activist (and in China, human rights activism is serious business, unlike America, where human rights activism means you camp out in the lobby of the state capitol until the government agrees to pay for laser hair removal as part of the state employee union health plan) Chen Guangcheng escapes from house arrest to the US embassy, hoping for support and sanctuary from the leading light of the free world. Instead, what he got was a brisk hustle out the door and back into Chinese custody.

At the embassy, Chen said he came under tremendous pressure from American officials—“not those from the embassy but others “—to leave the diplomatic facility as quickly as possible. From the very beginning, he said, the assumption was that he would stay in China. “I had no information, I got no phone calls from friends, I was isolated,” he told me, his voice trembling. “Then I heard about the threat that my wife would be sent back home to Shandong if I didn’t leave the embassy. So I left.” 

He told me there was no explicit threat that she would be submitted to physical violence, “but nobody had to say it, I know what we’ve experienced all these years back in Shandong. Our home was surrounded by guards, lots of guards. Our friends weren’t allowed to visit. If we tried to go out we’d be beaten, often with clubs.” Security personnel had even escorted his young daughter to and from school; Chen and his wife hadn’t seen their son for two years before their reunion at the hospital. 

Human-rights activists are now extremely worried about Chen’s fate, and some are astonished at this startling—and dark—turn of events. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had described Chen’s departure as reflecting “his choices and our values”

Our values aren’t what they used to be. A man (a blind man, no less) who has been beaten and imprisoned, along with his family, for agitating for freedom in China, escapes to our embassy and we give him the brush-off like he’s our embarrassing crazy uncle.

And we didn’t just turn our back on him, we played along with the Chinese authorities. From Creative Minority Report:

But it’s actually worse than that. According to Hot Air, “the AP reported a few minutes ago that the US told him that if he didn’t leave, the Beijing government would beat his wife to death — and now he fears for his life:” 

So we essentially did the bidding of the bad guys here. The Chinese told American officials to tell Chen that they would beat his wife to death unless he left…and they did.

Nice. If Barak Obama had a son, he wouldn’t look anything like Chen Guangcheng, so I guess Chen is out of luck.

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