U.S. Lawmaker Stands Up for Blind Forced Abortion Opponent Chen Guangcheng by Wearing Sunglasses – Congressman Chris Smith with Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers and Advisory Board member of the Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB)
The Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting Advisory Board member Reggie Littlejohn testified in Congress as president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, an NGO which works to end forced abortion and human trafficking in China. She and Congressman Chris Smith posed in front of a large image of Chinese human rights activist Chen Guangcheng to support calls to the Chinese government for his release from house arrest as part of the Women’s Rights Without Frontiers’ Sunglasses Campaign. Chen Guangchen is blind and in poor health. CUSIB Advisory Board member Harry Wu also testified in a hearing which was focused on the plight of imprisoned Chinese Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo.
After the hearing, Congressman Smith attended a reception on Capitol Hill to mark the 70th anniversary of Voice of America broadcasts to China. The reception was hosted by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher who had introduced an amendment to save VOA radio and television programs from being cut by the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), a federal agency which manages VOA. In a special video message, the Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, congratulated the Voice of America (VOA) on the 70th anniversary of VOA broadcasting to China. The Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting members worked to save VOA Chinese radio and TV programs from being cut by the BBG. Other CUSIB members attending the Capitol Hill reception included Marie Ciliberti, John Lenczowski, Karl Altau, Timothy Shamble, and Gary Marco.
Women’s Rights Without Frontiers press release:
U.S. Lawmaker Stands Up for Blind Forced Abortion Opponent Chen Guangcheng by Wearing Sunglasses
Washington, D.C. Congressman Chris Smith has demonstrated his ongoing commitment to free Chen Guangcheng in yet another way: by wearing sunglasses. After the Congressional-Executive Commission on China hearing Tuesday, Congressman Smith joined Reggie Littlejohn, President of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, to be photographed next to a large image of Chen, in connection with WRWF’s Sunglasses Campaign.
Littlejohn stated, “For the past three decades, Congressman Smith has been the most powerful and persistent voice on Capitol Hill for human rights in China. He has held dozens of hearings, exposing the truth about forced abortion, the persecution of Christians, and other human rights abuses. He has worked tirelessly on behalf of Chen Guangcheng, sponsoring a bill on his behalf, trying to visit him, and now supporting the international Sunglasses Campaign.”
WRWF launched an international Sunglasses Campaign to support a similar campaign within China. People from around the world have donned sunglasses and emailed their portraits to the WRWF website, to support Chen. A Chinese political cartoonist, whose pen name is “Crazy Crab,” created the image of Chen using hundreds of these sunglasses portraits.
In her Congressional testimony Tuesday, Littlejohn quoted a key Chinese activist who said, “I think it’s very helpful for people all over the world to show they care about Chen through the Sunglasses Campaigns. I think it’s very important to show support inside and outside the country – we can work together.” These sunglasses campaigns can be found here and here.
In answer to Congressman Smith’s question at the hearing about whether a double-standard is applied in Western policy towards China, Littlejohn criticized Vice President Biden for his remark, made in China, that he “fully understands” China’s One Child Policy, and yet is “not second-guessing” it. She stated, “If it’s not ok in the United States, it’s not ok in China either. That statement really undermined the moral credibility of the United States on the world international scene.”
Littlejohn called upon the Chinese government to grant a visa to Congressman Smith so that he can visit Chen. She also urged U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke to seek access to Chen. Beyond this, she urged supporters of Chen to intensify their efforts to advocate for his freedom.
The CECC hearing was held to commemorate the December 10 anniversary of the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony for still-imprisoned dissident, Liu Xiaobo.
View a video about Chen.
Sign a petition to free him.
Stop Forced Abortion – China’s War on Women! Video (4 mins)