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WASHINGTON, December 9, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – He may not wear his sunglasses at night, but U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) broke out the shades on Tuesday to join an international message to Chinese officials oppressing a blind advocate for forced-abortion victims.

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Unfortunately for Chen Guangcheng, a blind lawyer easily recognizable by his trademark shades who has often been severely beaten and remains in lockdown for helping victims of forced abortion in the Communist country, the future is not been particularly bright – a fact his advocates in America hope to change through awareness.

After a Congressional-Executive Commission on China hearing Tuesday, Congressman Smith joined Reggie Littlejohn, President of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, for a photo op next to a large image of Chen, in connection with WRWF’s Sunglasses Campaign.

The international campaign was launched to support a similar campaign already ongoing in China, and people from around the world have donned sunglasses and emailed their portraits to the WRWF website, to support Chen.  A Chinese political cartoonist created the image of Chen using hundreds of these sunglasses portraits.

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“For the past three decades, Congressman Smith has been the most powerful and persistent voice on Capitol Hill for human rights in China,” said Littlejohn. “He has held dozens of hearings, exposing the truth about forced abortion, the persecution of Christians, and other human rights abuses. He has worked tirelessly on behalf of Chen Guangcheng, sponsoring a bill on his behalf, trying to visit him, and now supporting the international Sunglasses Campaign.”

In her Congressional testimony Tuesday, Littlejohn quoted a key Chinese activist who said, “I think it’s very helpful for people all over the world to show they care about Chen through the Sunglasses Campaigns.  I think it’s very important to show support inside and outside the country – we can work together.”

(The sunglasses campaigns can be found here and here.)

Littlejohn also criticized Vice President Biden for his remark during a China visit that he “fully understands” China’s one-child policy, and is “not second-guessing” it.  “If it’s not OK in the United States, it’s not OK in China either,” she said. “That statement really undermined the moral credibility of the United States on the world international scene.”

Littlejohn called upon the Chinese government to grant a visa to Congressman Smith so that he can visit Chen.  She also urged U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke to seek access to Chen.  Beyond this, she urged supporters of Chen to intensify their efforts to advocate for his freedom.

The CECC hearing was held to commemorate the December 10 anniversary of the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony for still-imprisoned dissident, Liu Xiaobo.

View a video about Chen here

Sign a petition to free Chen here

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