Actor Christian Bale's mission to visit Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng ended before the two could meet, but the attempt was certainly not in vain, says former Tiananmen Square leader Chai Ling.
The scuffle between Bale and the security forces guarding Chen’s home has brought attention to the blind activist’s 15-month house arrest and the need for similar personalities to rise up and stand for freedom in China.
Chai Ling, two time Nobel Prize nominee and founder of All Girls Allowed, has written a letter honoring the actor for his bravery. She knows the courage it takes to stand up to injustice. Her experience as commander in chief of the Tiananmen Square Student Democracy Movement in 1989 was extensively documented in her newly released book, “A Heart for Freedom”.
Chen, a women’s rights activist, was originally arrested in 2006 and sentenced to four years in prison after exposing 130,000 forced sterilizations and abortions in his village in 2005 alone. Civil rights groups and web-citizens throughout China have grown increasingly concerned for his release from house arrest, especially since rumors recently arose that Chen was killed during one of his regular beatings by officials.
Those who attempt to visit Chen and his family face great danger.
Ling’s letter not only thanks Christian Bale for his remarkable effort, but also refers to others who have tried the same brave attempt. “5 disabled volunteers attempted to visit Chen for the National Day for the Blind,” says Chai Ling. “But they were pushed around, threatened, then followed, just like you.” She also asks Bale to connect with Congressman Chris Smith from New Jersey, who is also applying for a visa to visit Chen.
“There is no doubt that the courageous action taken by Christian Bale and Congressman Smith will bring needed attention to speed up Chen’s release! We call believers to pray in the name of Jesus for Chen Guangcheng and others who were imprisoned unjustly to be released immediately. Chen’s six-year-old little girl deserves freedom with her parents this Christmas.”