Chen Guangcheng: 'I'm Very Disappointed at the U.S. Government.'
Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng is in a Beijing hospital and he's making phone calls to anyone who will listen to his plight. This translated transcript of an interview he gave CNN last night is just horrible to read. Here are a few excerpts explaining what caused him to leave the safety of the U.S. embassy:
Q: What prompted your change of heart?
A: The embassy kept lobbying me to leave and promised to have people stay with me in the hospital. But this afternoon as soon as I checked into the hospital room, I noticed they were all gone.
Q: Has the U.S. disappointed you?
A: I'm very disappointed at the U.S. government.
A: I don't think (U.S. officials) protected human rights in this case.
Q: What would you say to U.S. President Obama?
A: I would like to say to (President Obama): Please do everything you can to get our whole family out.Q: Is this your most urgent wish?A: That's right.
He goes on to explain the threats made against his wife's health and safety and how surveillance teams have overrun their home. He explains how the embassy misled him about what would happen if he went to the hospital.
Q: Is it true no one from the embassy picked up your calls?
A: Yes. I called two embassy people numerous times.
Q: What do you want to say to the U.S. government?
A: I want them to protect human rights through concrete actions. We are in danger. If you can talk to Hillary (Clinton), I hope she can help my whole family leave China.
Q: The whole world is watching you -- how do you feel about this?
A: I feel very grateful. I feel they are sincere in their concern, not just for show.
Q: Do you feel you were lied to by the embassy?
A: I feel a little like that.
Q: What has this ordeal taught you?
A: I feel everyone focuses too much on their self-interest at the expense of their credibility.
Q: You're both still up at 3 a.m. -- feeling anxious?
A: Yes, we feel a lot of anxiety.... I told the embassy I would like to talk to Rep. Smith (Congressman Chris Smith) but they somehow never managed to arrange it. I feel a little puzzled.
Q: What would you say to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton?
A: I know Sino-U.S. relations encompass many issues and they have to consider many things. But the reality about my family is that our lives are in obvious danger. If we stay here or get sent back to Shandong, our lives would be at stake. Under such circumstances, I hope the U.S. government will protect us and help us leave China based on its value of protecting human rights.
Q: Are there people watching you at the hospital?
A: They have security guards here.
Q: Have the embassy people have left?
A: Yes. They promised to stay here with Guangcheng -- that would give us some sense of security. But we haven't seen anyone since we checked into this hospital room. I was actually persuading Guangcheng to seek treatment in a hospital -- but I didn't know the embassy (people) were lobbying him to leave (the embassy).
This is not a proud moment for the U.S. We pressured him to leave? We won't let him speak with Chris Smith? We lied about whether we'd accompany him in his hospital room? We're not answering his calls?
It's humbling to see what great hopes Chen has put in our country and I pray that we do not let him down. And I fear that we might, given how the embassy has behaved thus far.
This man has risked so much to speak the truth about China's brutal repression of human rights. It may not be popular to stand by such a man who has fought on behalf of unborn children and their mothers and fathers against the Chinese government, but this should be non-negotiable for us.