Katrina Lantos Swett
„In the United States, we may grumble about our political system, but we're fortunate enough not to live in constant fear of it. Growing up in China, the 2012 Lantos Prize Winner Chen Guangcheng never had that luxury. After living through injustice after injustice, he dedicated his life to changing the Chinese system so that its citizens could expect fair treatment under the law and live life without threat of bodily harm or persecution. His dedication reminds me of someone else. (...)
Chen is the ultimate example of a courageous David facing down the Goliath of the Chinese state armed only with the smooth stones of justice and truth. His strength comes from the moral authority he has earned over his long history of standing with his fellow Chinese on the side of justice and the law. As more people come to know his story, he will be a stronger force standing up to the abuses of the authoritarian Chinese regime. Human rights organizations and people of goodwill must step forward to stand with Chen and other human rights heroes in China who are daily facing down Goliath on behalf of their fellow citizens. We must all remember that despite the odds, David defeated Goliath, and eventually the cause of justice, liberty and human rights will prevail in China as well.
At each step in his activism, the scope of Chen Guangcheng's work and his reputation for justice have grown. We at the Lantos Foundation are proud to be a part of writing Chen's next chapter as he continues to challenge oppressors and stand for human rights. I know my father would have been proud to be associated with such an individual who embodies the qualities he held so dear.”