Tuesday, January 18, 2011

China: Former Tiananmen Protest Leader Brings 'All Girls Allowed' Message of Hope to Human Rights Issue of Forced Abortions & Gendercide

WASHINGTON, Jan. 17, 2011 -- On the first day of Hu Jintao's U.S. visit, former Tiananmen student protest leader Chai Ling will deliver over 1500 signatures in a petition that urges President Obama to draw attention to forced abortion and gendercide during his conversation with the Chinese president. She will also bring a message of hope at a congressional press conference to focus attention on China's "abysmal human rights record."

Chai, founder of All Girls Allowed, has been invited by Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) and other members of the House to speak at the Tuesday Jan. 18 press conference at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C.

Chai founded the Boston-based organization in June 2010 with a mission to restore life, value and dignity to girls and mothers in China, where a strict one-child per family policy of three decades has led to violent and brutal enforcement practices, routine forced abortions, sky-high abortion rates, gendercide of baby girls and an alarming and growing sex ratio imbalance that has serious long-range implications for social stability.

Chai, one of the top student leaders of the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy movement, has now devoted herself to bringing God's love to China. This involves advocacy against the policy as the main driver of trafficking, gendercide and abandonment, as well as on-the-ground programs that will minimize these negative effects of the policy.

AGA's work includes anti-trafficking programs to reunite children with their families, orphan education sponsorships, legal assistance for victims of forced abortions and sterilizations, and the new Baby Shower Gift program to control gendercide in rural villages, which provides financial support to mothers who will keep and raise their girls.

"Already 325 families have given birth to girls in villages with high gender imbalances, some with as high as 233 boys for every 100 girls," Chai said. One mother expressed her joy to AGA field staff: "Our neighbor who had a son was very jealous of us." AGA reports that many parents now hope to raise girls in these villages - proof that cultural preference can change.

While the program is still new, prospects for success are high because parents find it harder to abandon their baby girls after the first year of bonding with her. Rather than the often-depressing and shocking accounts of China's many human rights abuses, this is the message of hope that Chai, who is a two-time Nobel Prize nominee, wants to share.

The news conference is scheduled for 2 p.m. Tuesday Jan. 18 in Room 2456 of the Rayburn House Office Building (room is on fourth floor). Smith's office said in announcing the event that the congressman wanted "to focus on China's abysmal human rights record." Chai will be joined by six other human rights advocates:

  • Geng He, wife of Gao Zhisheng (leading Chinese human rights lawyer and political prisoner),
  • Ngawang Sangdrol, former Tibetan nun and political prisoner;
  • Bob Fu, President, ChinaAid Association , student leader on Tiananmen Square;
  • Yang Jianli, President, Initiatives for China, and former Chinese political prisoner;
  • Harry Wu, President, Laogai Research Foundation, and former Chinese political prisoner, and;
  • Reggie Littlejohn, President, Women's Rights Without Frontiers.
Source: All Girls Allowed