Beijing (AsiaNews) - Handing Chen Guangcheng back to the Chinese Communist Party means sacrificing a man of courage and nobility for the sake of trade. If America does not help him, he could be killed. If that were to pass, America would thus lose its credibility, argues Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women's Rights Without Frontiers, who wrote an open letter to US leaders. The activist, who has told the world about China's force abortions (see video), has appealed to the US government to help the blind dissident with every means at its disposal and not "sell the soul of our nation".
Chen is now in a Beijing hospital. He left the US Embassy in the Chinese capital in the company of US Ambassador Gary Locke. At present, his fate is unclear. Some believe that he will be rearrested. Here is Littlejohn's appeal.
Dear President Obama, Secretary Clinton and Ambassador Locke:
We call for official United States protection of blind activist Chen Guangcheng, who dramatically escaped house detention and is now said to be at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. As of the writing of this letter, U.S. officials have not promised diplomatic protection for Chen or his family.
As Secretary Clinton meets with leaders in Beijing this week, the moral credibility of the United States on the world stage hangs in the balance. Chen Guangcheng is the Gandhi of our time. He is a man of inconceivable bravery. Poor, blind, beaten and detained, he nevertheless possesses the surpassing backbone to stand alone against the crushing brutality of the communist regime. He is the "Tank Man" against the One Child Policy. He has done this on behalf of the women of China, who for thirty-two years have suffered the unspeakable torture of forced abortion and involuntary sterilization at the hands of the barbarous Chinese population control machine. Chen Guangcheng is a warrior for women's rights.
At great risk to himself, his family and a wide network of brave supporters, Chen has been delivered safely into our Embassy. Meanwhile, members of his family and key supporters have been beaten or detained.
The entire world is watching. Will you offer official protection to Chen, his family, and his key supporters who are now detained? Or will you continue to kowtow to the Chinese Communist Party for our economic advantage? Inescapably, the choice you make will symbolize the character of our nation to the world.
Women's Rights Without Frontiers calls upon you to use all diplomatic means to ensure safety for Chen Guangcheng, his family, and his key supporters who are currently detained, especially He Peirong, who rescued Chen and is a hero in her own right.
We also ask that you press for Chen's requests that those who have been torturing and persecuting his family be brought to justice, and that corrupt officials who have received money for persecuting Chen be investigated and punished.
The American people - and the people of the world - cry out for freedom for Chen Guangcheng. If you deliver him back into the hands of the Chinese Communist Party, he will no doubt be imprisoned, tortured, possibly killed. Would you use this noble man as a bargaining chip in trade talks? To do so would be to sell the soul of our nation.