China Beats and Imprisons Human Rights Lawyer . . . Then Demands Apology From U.S. For Allowing Him Into Embassy

Well, at least China expects someone to apologize . . . just not itself. After keeping a blind Chinese legal activist in continual house arrest and denying him access to the outside world, China has demanded that the United States apologize for allowing him to enter its embassy after his inspiring escape. In the meantime, it has rounded up every Chinese person believed to have helped Chen Guangcheng. Chen has been allowed to go to the hospital and is expected to return home and presumably to his caged existence.

Here is the entire and only statement that China has made on its disgraceful abuse of this human rights lawyer:

“It is understood that Chen Guangcheng of Linyi County in Shandong province entered the United States embassy to China in late April and left of his own accord six days later. It must be pointed out that the United States Embassy took the Chinese citizen Chen Guangcheng into the embassy in an irregular manner, and China expresses its strong dissatisfaction over this.

“The US handling of this was interference in Chinese domestic affairs, and this is totally unacceptable to China. The US Embassy to China has a duty to abide by the relevant international and Chinese laws, and should not engage in activities that are not in keeping with its functions.”

“China demands that the US apologise over this, thoroughly investigate this incident, punish those who are responsible, and give assurances that such incidents will not recur. China has noted that the US side has expressed that it takes seriously China’s demands and concerns, and also given assurances that it will take the necessary measures to prevent such incidents recurring. The US side should reflect on its policies and practices, and take effective actions to protect broader Sino-U.S. relations.

“The Chinese side stresses that China is a country of rule of law, and any citizen’s legitimate rights and interests are protected by the Constitution and the law. At the same time, all citizens are obliged to abide by the Constitution and laws.”

What China considers a “citizen’s legitimate rights” obviously does not consider freedom of speech, freedom of association, or due process.

There are questions raised over the sheltering of a national in an embassy under international rules. It is a rare, though not unprecedented act. Yet, such questions are not motivating much debate when a country is irate over the escape of one of its human rights victims. After violating a host of international and human rights laws in the abuse of Chen and his family, the Chinese government now seems intent on fighting over a jurisdictional point. Mao would be proud.

Source: New York Times

19 thoughts on “China Beats and Imprisons Human Rights Lawyer . . . Then Demands Apology From U.S. For Allowing Him Into Embassy”

  1. Jeff Metz (@JT_Metz) 1, May 2, 2012 at 10:05 am

    The really sad thing here is that President Obama my ACTUALLY apologize. From my perspective they would get a firm “get bent.”

    while I can understand the enjoyment in acting macho on the internet, I do hope you understand that global diplomacy is different than the junior high playground.

  2. What in the hell is wrong with people? They “forgot ” about this guy? For 5 days? Am I alone in finding this very difficult to believe?

    Daniel Chong Drank Urine To Survive 5 Days In Holding Cell Without Food, Water

    by Andy Campbell
    Posted: 05/ 2/2012 11:38 am Updated: 05/ 2/2012 5:31 pm

    Update: The Drug Enforcement Administration has apologized to Danny Chong after he spent five days in a holding cell without food, water or a toilet, the LA Times reported.

    “I extend my deepest apologies [to] the young man and want to express that this event is not indicative of the high standards that I hold my employees to,” William Sherman, special agent in charge of the San Diego division of the DEA, said in a statement. He added that he has ordered “an extensive review” of DEA procedures.


    An innocent California student was placed in a holding cell after his buddy’s house was raided by the Drug Enforcement Administration, and ended up spending nearly five days in his dark prison without food, water or human contact.

    Danny Chong, 24, had been told that he was going to be released on April 20 — the same day he was detained — because he wasn’t charged with any crime.

    Officers reportedly forgot about him. He told NBC that he was forced to drink his own urine for hydration and ended up carving his own flesh with glass in a fit of psychosis.

    “I had to do what I had to do to survive,” he told the station on Tuesday. “I was completely insane.”

    Chong’s horrific — and accidental — stay in the dark holding cell began on April 20, when agents raided a home that Chong where hanging out near UC San Diego. DEA officials said they found some 18,000 ecstasy pills at the home, but that Chong wasn’t involved. He was brought in for questioning, but never formally arrested or charged, according to U-T San Diego.

    He was supposed to leave his detention the same day. One officer even offered him a ride home.

    But he was forgotten inside his 5-foot-by-10-foot, windowless enclosure.

    He kicked, screamed and cried as the days passed. He could hear DEA agents on the other side of his heavy door, but they apparently couldn’t hear him. He didn’t have food, water or a bathroom.

    At one point Chong went so “insane” he broke his glasses with his teeth and carved “Sorry Mom” into his arm.

    By day five — when corrections officers finally heard Chong’s screams for help — he’d been hallucinating and even attempted to eat broken glass, NBC reported.

    When agents finally found Chong, he was incoherent and had to be taken to the hospital, according to the Associated Press. He was treated for a perforated lung — an injury consistent with someone who has eaten glass.

    The student’s lawyer compared his detention to the famous Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Chong is considering filing a civil lawsuit against the DEA.

    The DEA maintains that the incident was accidental and isolated, but hasn’t elaborated. (end of article)

  3. “we do need to not only complain about their abusive tactics, but look inward to the abuses that still happen under our own flag.” -rafflaw

    I agree.

  4. Touchy, touchy situation…..we need them more than they need us….or do we have them by the ying, yang…..

  5. “The US handling of this was interference in Chinese domestic affairs, and this is totally unacceptable to China.”
    I, personally, would really really really prefer that we tidy up our own house before we go gallavanting off to make war with China.

  6. You are right Frankly that the US did interfere with a domestic situation. that being said, we do need to not only complain about their abusive tactics, but look inward to the abuses that still happen under our own flag.

  7. When the U.S. utters a formal objection to the barbaric abuses of human rights in Saudi Arabia, closes Guantanamo and Bagram gulags, frees Bradley Manning, and calls off its vindictive war on its own whistle-blowing citizens, then perhaps the world will take notice of something America says about Chinese human-rights practices. Meanwhile, American corporations will go on investing in China and the American government will go on begging China for more loans to finance America’s deadbeat military imperialism.

    Lenin once said that a capitalist will sell you the rope you hang him with. Mao’s successors have gone Lenin one better by taking America’s capital and hanging America with it at the same time. Having America’s capital and eating America, too. A capitalist has no country, although he may own several.

  8. How can those chines capitalists continue to call themselves communists? Oh, the human rights abuses. Yep. They are still communist animals and we are their favorite trade partners and keep silent.

  9. Swarthmore Mom,
    It’s very unlikely to be going on in Syria on our behalf, given the circumstances. But I lived in Morocco, which I know rather well, and there was clear evidence agreed upon by most credible institutions of a torture center where American planes come in and out(in the suburb of the capital of this rather peaceful nation). I’m almost certain they’re closing it down, given the wind of change sweeping through the region.

  10. Keith, I know torture is still going on…….Amnesty International confirms it.

  11. Keith, I know we used to outsource to Syria, but are you sure it is still going on there?

  12. It seems the Chinese government acted in its own self interest and the US government acted in a way that did interfere with the Chinese law. I don’t think anyone is shocked or surprised by any of this. We would react the same way if the Chinese harbored an American we considered a criminal.

    Now we can argue about the law there but its their law, right? Sure its barbaric and abusive but we are messing with China’s internal politics.

  13. Somehow, the US has lost much of the moral high ground in chastising China for it’s policy of abuse. In addition, the economic enmeshment, even entanglement, between the US and China dictates that human rights issues, from factory conditions to dissident treatment, are relegated to face saving and meaningless objection, while abusive policies continue.

    Objection to China’s human rights abuses has always had a bit of the hypocritical charade aspect to it with the Republicans, it seems to me, being the bigger hypocrites in the US., claiming that the Dems coddle the Chinese while, in fact, both parties kowtow to the economic realities that dictate actual behavior and policy. Protest of Chinese policy is laughingly pro forma.

    The US, no obvious paragon when it comes to human rights these days, a long time ago gave up the believability of tying foreign and economic policy to improved human rights conditions. The two track approach — whereby the justification that increased engagement/openness leads to improved conditions has become de facto policy — covers a multitude of rot. Of course the US corporations are just fine with it, too.

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