Taipei, May 4 (CNA) Several Taiwanese groups Friday voiced their support for Chen Guangcheng and invited the blind human rights activist who recently escaped house arrest in China to come to Taiwan.
During a discussion held by the Chinese Association for Human Rights in Taipei Friday afternoon, Wang Hsing-chung, an official with the New School for Democracy, said Taiwan's government should engage China on human rights issues.
Wang also suggested that President Ma Ying-jeou express concern over Chen's situation and invite him to visit Taiwan.
A statement was later issued by those attending the event, including Robert Tsao, founder and former chairman of United Microelectronics Corp., and Tung Li-wen, a Taiwan Thinktank consultant, urging China to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Meanwhile, a Christian youth group started an online campaign Thursday to collect signatures and ask groups from all religions to invite Chen and He Peirong, the woman who helped Chen's escape, to Taiwan.
The person who launched the campaign, who did not wish to be named, said Friday that the campaign was being mounted purely for humanitarian reasons.
The campaigner said that if Chen and He were willing to come to Taiwan, "there would certainly be many people offering them a helping hand."
He, who was reportedly detained by the Nanjing police on April 26 after helping Chen flee from his home in Shandong Province to Beijing, posted a message on her twitter page Friday, saying she had returned home safely.
Another Chinese human rights activist, Zeng Jingyen, who tried to visit Chen in Beijing and has posted updates about Chen on her twitter page, was less fortunate. She sent a tweet Thursday saying she was put under house arrest.
The Hong Kong-based Ming Pao newspaper also reported that several Chinese activists in Beijing and Sichuan have been warned against commenting on events related to Chen or gathering to celebrate Chen's escape.
(By Tsai Pei-chi, Rita Cheng and Kay Liu)