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As the Chinese regime keeps blind Chinese human rights lawyer Chen Guangcheng under house arrest, those who try to visit him are threatened or beaten. Just last weekend more than 30 people who tried to visit him were reportedly beaten up. Now US Congressman and Chairman of the House Human Rights Committee, Chris Smith, says he wants to go to China to visit Chen.
US Congressman Chris Smith announced on Wednesday that he plans to visit the blind Chinese rights lawyer Chen Guangcheng. Chen, who raised awareness about the Chinese regime's policy of forced abortions in his hometown, is under house arrest.
A group of 37 people attempted to visit Chen last weekend at his home in Linyi County, Shandong Province. But they aborted the trip after realizing security personnel were following them. They said they were beaten by a group of men as they tried to get away.
Smith plans to leave for China as soon as possible, but acknowledges the Chinese regime may simply refuse him entry to the country.
[Chris Smith, US Congressman]:
"Again, we have not gotten a visa yet, my hope is we will, but I'm trying to because this is such an emergency for Chen Guangcheng and his wife and young child that we would look to leave by Wednesday of next week and seek to visit his home."
Smith is Chairman of the House Human Rights Committee and author of the China Democracy Promotion Act. It's a proposed bill that would deny human rights offenders entry to the United States—offenders like those Chen Guangcheng fought against and those who are keeping him under house arrest.