China rights activist due this month

Staff writer, with CNA

Fri, Jun 14, 2013 - Page 3

Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng (陳光誠) is scheduled to arrive in Taipei on June 24 for his first visit to Taiwan, Taiwan Association for China’s Human Rights (TACHR) president Yang Hsien-hung (楊憲宏) said yesterday.

“Chen’s visit is mainly aimed at promoting freedom and human rights,” Yang said, adding that China had tried, but failed, to obstruct Chen’s Taiwan trip.

A friend of Chen’s, Du Bin (杜斌), a journalist and photographer who helped write Chen’s new book about life and death in China, was arrested by the Chinese authorities recently on charges of illegal publishing, Yang said.

“I believe Du’s arrest was largely related to Chen’s plans to travel to Taiwan,” Yang added.

During his planned stay from June 24 to July 2, Chen is to visit major Taiwanese civic groups promoting human rights and judicial integrity and is scheduled to deliver speeches at the legislature, National Taiwan University and National Cheng Kung University, Yang said.

Chen is set to be accompanied on the visit by members of his family.

Chen sparked a diplomatic tussle in April 2 last year when he fled house arrest in rural China and sought refuge at the US embassy in Beijing.

The Chinese authorities subsequently agreed to let him leave for the US to study in New York, along with his wife and two children.

Yang added that the TACHR also plans to invite Hu Jia (胡佳), another Chinese human rights activist, to visit Taiwan.