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Sunday, September 18, 2005
  The face of communism; Forced Abortions and Sterilization
China shamed by forced abortions - Sunday Times - Times Online: "HORRIFYING revelations of forced abortions and compulsory sterilisation in China embarrassed the Beijing government last week just as President Hu Jintao took the international stage.

The exposure of practices that break China’s own laws governing birth control was the work of a blind man who has led a campaign to bring officials to justice for their crimes.

However, Chen Guancheng, 34, the campaigner, is under house arrest this weekend in Linyi, a city of 10m people where family planning officials have committed the worst abuses documented in recent years. All involve poor people in and around Linyi, which lies in Shandong province, some 400 miles southeast of Beijing.

They have described brutal coercion that started last March when the local authorities panicked over the number of “unplanned births”.

Under Chinese regulations rural people may have more than one child if the firstborn is a girl or disabled. In Shandong, however, many women had given birth to more than two children. Lower-ranking Communist party officials were chastised for failing to enforce the law, a misdemeanour that often leads to dismissal or demotion.

They reacted by launching a sweep through villages, rounding up people with more than two children. Pregnant women had forced abortions, while both men and women were compulsorily sterilised.

According to numerous witnesses, the authorities held relatives and neighbours hostage, threatening them with torture so as to force victims to submit."
 
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