Thursday, 3 May 2012

Obama´s handling of the case of Chinese dissident Chen Guangscheng

I am not in a position to know, but if what Mitt Romney suggests, is true - or even partially true - his description is right:

"If these reports are true, this is a dark day for freedom and it's a day of shame for the Obama administration." 

Mitt Romney on Thursday issued a sharply worded critique of the Obama administration's handling of the case of Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng, saying he was troubled by news reports that Chen felt pressure to leave the U.S. Embassy in Beijing at a time when he feared for the safety of himself and his family.
During an event in Portsmouth, Va., where he was endorsed by onetime rival Michele Bachmann, Romney said he was heartened that Chen, a blind activist lawyer, had sought shelter at the embassy for six days after escaping house arrest in his home province of Shandong. But the presumed Republican presidential nominee said he was concerned about the circumstances of the negotiations between the U.S. and Chinese governments that led Chen to leave the embassy after assurances that he and his family would be protected if they remained in China.
"The reports are, if they're accurate, that our administration, willingly or unwittingly, communicated to Chen an implicit threat, to his family, and also probably sped up, or may have sped up the process of his decision to leave the embassy because they wanted to move on to a series of discussions that [Treasury Secretary Timothy] Geithner and our secretary of State are planning on having with China,” Romney said, making an accusation that was immediately repudiated by White House officials.
"It's also apparent, according to these reports if they’re accurate, that our embassy failed to put in place the kind of verifiable measures that would assure the safety of Mr. Chen and his family,” Romney said. "If these reports are true, this is a dark day for freedom and it's a day of shame for the Obama administration. We are a place of freedom, here and around the world, and we should stand up and defend freedom wherever it is under attack."
White House officials said the reports were not accurate and that Chen was never under any pressure to leave the embassy. And as long as he was there, the White House press secretary said, Chen never asked for asylum.

Read the entire article here


It will be interesting to see, whether Chen and his family will be able to join Hillary Clinton when she returns from China:

A top activist for human rights in China warned on Thursday that if the United States wants to maintain its image as a global human rights leader, dissident Chen Gaungcheng and his family must join Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she returns from China this week.


Bob Fu, President of China Aid and a prominent Chinese human rights activist, expressed confidence that Beijing would cooperate with American demands for asylum for Chen and his family. “If the U.S. government and President Obama have the will and determination to help do that,” Hu said, “I think the Chinese government will let them go.”
Whether that will exists is not certain. Fu echoed other reports about Chen’s departure from the U.S. embassy, saying Chen had told him he “felt pressured to leave.” American officials have disputed that, saying Chen seemed eager to return.

A leading American human rights activist also demanded that Chen and his family should be get asylum in the US:
If the United States does not take steps to safeguard Chen and his family, warned Reggie Littlejohn of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers at an exclusive press conference at the Heritage Foundation on Thursday, it will do “tremendous damage to the United States’ reputation as a human rights defender.”

Littlejohn called on the State Department to “do whatever it takes to get asylum” for Chen, and to guarantee that he will join Clinton when she returns from her diplomatic mission to Beijing.

Read the entire article here

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