Chinese civil rights advocate interprets contemporary injustice in home country

first_imgCourtesy of the Institute for Church Life Prominent civil rights advocate Chen Guangcheng discusses the current state of human rights in China. Chen reflected on his work as a lawyer and his persecution by the Chinese government.“As long as you remain true to your cause as an activist, the communist party will continue to persecute you,” Chen said through his translator. “There is really no moral limit.”Chen said although many Americans now visit China, they typically only stay in the modernized cities and avoid rural areas. This limited perspective, Chen said, can contribute to misconceptions about how the Chinese people actually live. He said that over 70 percent of the population lives in rural areas.“If you look at some of the official published statistics, you will get the impression that many of the farmers or poor peasants enjoy a relatively good life, but what I can tell you is that those data are not true,” Chen said.After conducting his own studies, Chen said the actual standard of living for the vast majority of the agrarian Chinese population is much lower than the figures the government issues publicly. Further compounding this poverty, Chen said, is the fact that local peasants receive virtually no monetary support from the government.“Right now it is undeniable that China’s new exercises are autocratic,” Chen said. “It is truly a one-party state.”Chen said he began his career as an activist by representing the disabled in rural areas who are entitled to benefits by Chinese law, but instead receive nothing and are even taxed. Their plight is compounded by a dearth of access to legal counsel caused by their lack of money and the general reluctance of lawyers to pursue cases that could be considered anti-government, Chen said.However, Chen said the issue of coercive family planning practice also drew his attention and deserved more scrutiny. According to Chen, government agents use physical violence to enforce reproductive policy and the one-child rule in particular.“Oftentimes, the way they do it is to not only punish the woman who is pregnant with her second child, but also to go beyond herself such as her immediate family, relatives, siblings, uncles and aunts,” Chen said.The abuses of the government in this regard include threats of violence, torture, and physically forcing women to undergo abortions, Chen said, as well as forging consent forms to use as legal cover. According to Chen’s estimates, there have been over 30,000 cases of forced abortions and overall 360 million Chinese women have gotten abortions. Chen said this has resulted in massive social problems in China, including a substantial gender gap in the population and unusually small families being unable to support older relatives.Chen said seeing these injustices made him dedicate his life to activism, and he has suffered repercussions, ranging from torture and physical abuse to financial bribery, because of it. However, he said he will persevere in this cause and continue to to help his fellow countrymen.“On the other side, for foreigners or people who have an interest in China, I hope you all will hold more of a long-term view and do not compromise, do not give in to the communist party,” Chen said. “I think the future is bright.”Editor’s Note: The original version of this article referred to Chen Guangcheng by his given name, Guangcheng, instead of his family name, Chen. The Observer regrets this error.Tags: activism, activist, Chen Guangcheng, China, Human Dignity Lecture, Law Prominent Chinese civil rights advocate and political dissident Chen Guangcheng delivered the University of Notre Dame 2015 Human Dignity Lecture, entitled “Interpreting Reform: Human Dignity and Human Rights in Contemporary China,” Tuesday evening in McKenna Hall. With the aid of a translator, the “barefoot lawyer” discussed his personal experiences as a legal counsel for poor rural Chinese citizens, the persecution he faced from the government and the state of civil rights in modern China.last_img read more

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No. 6 Syracuse women’s lacrosse routs Binghamton, 16-5

first_img Published on February 18, 2017 at 11:20 pm Contact Nick: [email protected] | @nick_a_alvarez Despite facing two teams in less than 12 hours and facing a well-rested Binghamton team that scored 14 goals two nights ago, Syracuse never trailed at any point in 120 minutes of game time Saturday. For the third straight year, the Orange competed in a doubleheader and swept its opponents with ease.In the latest installment, hours after No. 6 Syracuse (3-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast) cruised to an 18-6 victory against Canisius (1-2), SU mauled the Binghamton Bearcats (0-2), 16-5, in the Carrier Dome. In the opening 10 minutes, SU overwhelmed the visitors with five goals en route to its third blowout victory of the year.“We stepped up and executed,” Syracuse head coach Gary Gait said. “We were playing some great lacrosse.”During the first game of the day, Gait yelled at his team to settle the offense. Against Binghamton, he didn’t have to shout orders. His team locked in from the start.It took Syracuse less than a minute to gain a lead it wouldn’t relinquish. Forty-five seconds after the initial draw, freshman Emily Hawryschuk’s eighth goal of the year opened the scoring and SU never looked back.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Orange offense pierced through a paper-thin Binghamton defense. Syracuse tested Binghamton goaltender Emma Jehle repeatedly, generating seven shots and scoring five times in the opening 10 minutes. SU would have scored six if not for a Natalie Wallon shot that beat Jehle but not the post.In an attempt to stifle the Orange attack, Binghamton formed a brigade of defenders around the arc. It didn’t work. Syracuse lulled the Bearcats to sleep with passes along the outskirts of the wall and waited for the defenders to cease their communication with one another.When that happened, an SU attack would dart through the wall, receive a perfectly placed pass and beat Jehle from the doorstep. First it was Hawryschuk, then Riley Donahue, followed by Mary Rahal. With 22:39 left in the first, Neena Merola exploited the same weakness and Syracuse led by four.Binghamton began to clamp down on the interior of the arc. Taylor Gait promptly countered with a shot that fired through the defense and flew over Jehle’s right shoulder to the back of the net. Bearcats head coach Stephanie Allen responded with timeout, but by then it was too little too late.“I think we are just starting to gel,” Gait said. “I think we have been executing well.”The Orange converted stellar defense into efficient offense. Constant midfield pressure held Binghamton to only two shots in the opening sixth of the game. The swarming SU midfield drew six fouls and the sputtering Binghamton attack turned the ball over six times early on.As Syracuse won a game in which the outcome was never really in question, history repeated itself. The Orange started the year with three victories for the fourth straight campaign, this time without all-time great Kayla Treanor.In the first three games, the surging attack has averaged 17.3 goals per contest and scored at least four goals in the first 10 minutes of each game. Syracuse’s recipe thus far: score early, defend with the lead, repeat. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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