For Immediate Release
May 19, 2012
The Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting Applauds Chen Guangcheng’s Freedom
The Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB) extends a warm welcome to Chinese human rights legal activist Chen Guangcheng upon his arrival to the United States today.
CUSIB Executive Director Ann Noonan stated: “We are overjoyed that Chen and his wife and children have left China for the United States. We are grateful for every act of courage and kindness from all who worked for his freedom, especially the Voice of America (VOA) and Radio Free Asia (RFA) Mandarin and Cantonese services whose journalists kept the spotlight on Chen. The vigilance of Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey for holding hearings on Capitol Hill, along with the vigilance of CUSIB Board Members, Jing Zhang and Reggie Littlejohn, focusing on the plight of this courageous blind activist, is especially appreciated.”
Ted Lipien, CUSIB Co-founder and Director stated: “While we are happy today for Chen and his immediate family, we realize that this is a bitter-sweet occasion, as other family members such as Chen’s mother continue to be exposed to oppression and retaliation by PRC government officials, and Chen’s nephew faces criminal charges.”
Shortly before departing for the U.S., Chen Guangcheng told the Voice of America Mandarin Service in a telephone interview on May 10 that he had managed to listen to their shortwave radio broadcasts even while he was in prison in China.
In commenting on this VOA Mandarin Service news report, Ted Lipien stated: “We fully support VOA Mandarin and Cantonese radio broadcasting to continue to shine the light of truth on human rights issues. We are gratified that members of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) paid attention to statements in support of the Voice of America from Chen Guangcheng and human rights campaigner Annette Lantos and restored funding for VOA Cantonese broadcasts and VOA radio broadcasts to Tibet, which the BBG’s International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) executive staff wanted to terminate in October 2012. We were shocked to learn, however, that while Chen Guangcheng’s future was still hanging in the balance, IBB executives eliminated two hours of VOA Mandarin live radio broadcasts and replaced them with repeat programs without live newscasts. Creating a 17 hours VOA Mandarin radio news silence in China at such a critical time in U.S.-Chinese relations is inexcusable and this decision should be immediately reversed,” CUSIB Co-founder and Director Ted Lipien said.
The Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB – www.cusib.org) is a nonpartisan, nongovernmental organization working to strengthen free flow of uncensored news from the United States to countries with restricted and developing media environments. CUSIB supports journalism in defense of media freedom and human rights and works closely with the executive branch, Congress, and media to promote effective multi-channel delivery of news and information to overcome press censorship.
For further information, please contact:
Ann Noonan, co-founder and Executive Director
Ted Lipien, co-founder
You may also email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.