By Pete Kasperowicz - 05/03/12 02:40 PM EDT
"The Obama administration must do everything it can to ensure that Chen Guangcheng, his family members and all those who have helped him are removed from harm's way and do not suffer any further abuse or retaliation for Chen’s bold and courageous efforts to save his family and improve human rights for all in China," Smith said on Wednesday.
Smith chairs a commission that was established in 2001 to monitor human rights and the development of rule of law in China, and submits annual reports to Congress on its findings. The commission will meet Thursday at 2 p.m. in the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, and will hear from various human- and women's-rights advocates.
"Witnesses will discuss details of the previous detention of Chen and his family under an illegal form of 'house arrest,' as well as his escape to seek safety at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing," Smith's office said in a statement announcing the hearing. "In addition, witnesses will also address Chen's legal advocacy work."
The commission is made up of seven House members, seven senators and five members of the executive branch.