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Al Jazeera: Update on Chen Guangcheng

May 2, 2012

Excerpted from Al Jazeera: 

Al Jazeera: I’m interested to know, how is this playing out within China itself? And how will this case proceed in China?

HRIC Executive Director Sharon Hom: It’s important to note that last week, when events were breaking, the Chinese authorities blocked all mentions of his name, his initials, the American Embassy, the word dashiguan – “embassy” –  and they even blocked the name of the nine Standing Committee members of the Party. It was a very wild blocking. So last week, it was extremely difficult for Chinese citizens to know what was going on.

But despite the blocking, a great deal of information was coming out on the Chinese Twitter. Since events are still unfolding and developments are quite confused, this week we really need to monitor his case, because there is a lot of conflicting information coming out. The core of the story is complex; and it comes in the midst of one of the most serious political crises in China domestically since the leadership transition in 1989, and in the midst of the very high-level strategic economic dialogue with the U.S. The timing is quite sensitive.

What is most important, we cannot forget, is the safety of Chen Guangcheng, and truly listening to what he is saying and what his wishes are. It is very important that he be able to have a safe, non-pressured space so that he can decide how to move forward with his life, with the safety of his family in mind.

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