Contact: Reggie Littlejohn, President, Women's Rights Without Frontiers, 310-592-5722
DONGSHIGU VILLAGE, China, Dec. 16, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ -- "Batman" star Christian Bale traveled nine hours from Beijing to visit blind forced abortion opponent Chen Guangcheng. Bale said, "What I really wanted to do was shake the man's hand and say 'thank you,' and tell him what an inspiration he is."
Bale never got the chance. He was roughed up and forced away from Chen's village, according to a CNN report.
Bale was in Beijing, China for the premier of "The Flowers of War," a drama about the 1937 Rape of Nanjing. About his attempt to visit Chen, Bale stated, "I'm not brave doing this . . . This was just a situation -- I can't look the other way."
According to Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women's Rights Without Frontiers, "Christian Bale is right that the true heroes are the Chinese citizens who have been beaten and detained trying to visit Chen, and yet Bale is a hero as well. He is starring in the most expensive film ever made in China, which China hopes will win an Academy Award. Nevertheless, he has the courage to stand against official injustice and has greatly raised the visibility of Chen's case."
Littlejohn contrasted Bale's actions with those of Relativity Media. "Christian Bale has used his star power to shine a light on the unjust treatment of Chen Guangcheng. In contrast, Relativity Media filmed '21 and Over' in Linyi, where Chen is languishing under house arrest. They did nothing to help Chen. I hope that moviegoers will demonstrate their concern for Chen Guangcheng at the box office by boycotting '21 and Over.'"
Christian Bale is not the only one who has focused attention on Chen Guangcheng. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke have both recently spoken on his behalf.
The flow of Chinese citizens to visit Chen despite the risk of beatings and detention, and the Chinese and international "Sunglasses" campaigns, have raised the visibility of Chen's case as well. These campaigns can be found here and here.
Chen Guangcheng exposed the systematic use of forced abortion and sterilization in Linyi City in 2005. For four years and three months, he was jailed, tortured and denied medical treatment. Since his release he has languished under strict house arrest.
Watch the 3-minute Free Chen video here.
Sign a petition to free Chen here.