Dissident Goes Missing At the Beijing Airport

I hadn’t planned to update this space until tomorrow, but this piece at Time’s China blog got me writing early. Yuan Weijing, the wife of jailed blind activist Chen Guangcheng, who is jail for four years for protesting the application of China’s one-child policy in his village in Shangdong province was “detained” yesterday at the Beijing airport as she was trying to fly to the Phillipines to receive a human rights award on behalf of her husband. According to Simon Elegent of Time’s Beijing Bureau she had a valid passport and visa.

I’ve never really trusted the application of human rights laws by officials in China, but kidnapping detaining somebody at a customs checkpoint takes away whatever faith I have left.

Very disturbing thoughts for the weekend.

J.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Dissident Goes Missing At the Beijing Airport

  1. all bee

    China does not deserve 2008 Olympics

    by all bee

    When police in Beijing recently prevented the wife of an imprisoned
    Chinese social activist from going to the Philippines to receive a
    prestigious international humanitarian award on behalf of her
    husband, the international Olympics community should have been

    outraged by this brazen Soviet-style thuggery. And yet barely a peep
    was heard around the
    world. Even Magsaysay Foundation, a private organization, refused to
    criticize China.

    What is going on here? In the run-up to the 2008 Summer Olympics in
    China, the Chinese government forcibly prevents a Chinese citizen from

    travelling to a foreign country to receive a humanitarian lleadership award for
    her imprisoned husband — a 35-year-old blind man who is behind

    bars for unmasking abuses such as forced sterilizations and women
    being made to have abortions eight months into term — and the

    international Olympics community behaves as if nothing happened. Where
    is the world’s conscience today?

    Yuan Weijing is the wife of Chen Guangcheng, and she should be free to

    travel anywhere in the world. She has a valid passport and a visa from
    the Philippines government. What China did to her is immoral,
    unconscienable.

    Why did the International Olympics
    Committee give the 2008 Summer Games to China if this same China is
    going to make a mockery of the concepts of freedom and justice and
    morality? It’s not as if the IOC wasn’t warned.

    This incident should really be proof that China does not

    deserve to host the 2008 Olympics. It’s time to call China on the
    carpet and stop all preparations for next summer’s Olympics. A country
    that does not allow the wife of a jailed man to travel abroad to pick

    up an international award for her husband is a country that does not

    deserve to host
    the Olympics. It’s that simple.

    The Ramon Magsaysay Foundation, in a statement to the press after the
    incident came to light, said that regretted that neither Chen nor his
    wife was able to attend the awards ceremony. However, the foundation
    added, that as a non-political organization, it respected the right of
    every country to make decisions regarding the travel of its citizens.

    That’s called a public relations statement.

    Carmencita Abella, president of the Magsaysay Foundation, did say that
    she was saddened over the Chinese government’s barring of Chen’s wife,
    but told a radio reporter in Manila: “We cannot do anything about it.
    It’s a decision of the Chinese government, and we cannot interfere
    with it”.

    “It is sad. He could have inspired many by telling his story. Yet even
    his wife was barred from leaving the country. It’s sad that despite
    the good you do, you earn the ire of local authorities,” Abella said.
    She also told reporters that the foundation will try to find a way to
    send Chen or his family the US$50,000 prize the foundation is giving
    to its 2007 awardees.

    “Even if [Chen is ]not here, the most we can do is to tell everyone of
    the good he has done,” Abella said.

    A Chinese human rights activist inside China, who was familiar with
    the incident, told foreign reporters: “Chen Guangcheng is an sore spot
    …because he exposed the dark secrets of ….forced birth control
    operations, and his wife keeps exposing the Chinese regime’s human
    rights violations to foreign media. She has revealed to the world
    facts about the forced birth control, corrupt officials, and the
    failing judiciary system.”

    When will the international community wake up to the very
    “un-Olympics” spirit of the current Chinese communist regime? If China
    can prevent one of its own citizens from going overseas to pick up
    international leadership awards, without any rational explanation,
    then how can the members of the IOC in all good conscience continue to
    prepare for the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing. What China did to Mrs.
    Yuan is an outrage, or should be. It’s time for an immediate
    international Olympics boycott.

    After this recent incident, the IOC really owes the world an
    explanation for how it can continue to play into China’s hands.

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