Well-known Chinese Christian lawyer Zhang Kai has spoken out against a recent forced abortion case in China that captured international attention, labeling the shocking case, in which he intends to represent the mother, a "crime against humanity."
"The tragic Zhenping case violates the most basic conscience of mankind," the Christian lawyer who will be representing Feng Jianmei in her case against the local government recently wrote on his blog.
"I cannot accept this kind of blatant murder in the land we that we live in. To ignore it is, I think, is to be no different than the murder. This is a crime against humanity," Zhang added.
Feng, a 25-year-old resident of Zhenping City in China's Shanxi Province, was seven months pregnant with her second child when she was recently beaten and forced to have her unborn daughter aborted by local family planning officials. The officials were reportedly enforcing China's controversial one-child policy.
The case came to light after human rights organizations posted graphic images of Feng lying on a hospital bed next to the bloodied corpse of her aborted child on the Internet, sparking outrage around the world.
Family planning officials reportedly dragged Feng, said to be a peasant, from her home for the forced abortion because she could not afford to pay a fine upwards of $6,000 for having a second child.
According to China's one-child policy, implemented in the 1970s due to the country's staggering population growth, one child per couple is allowed for city residents. In rural areas, families are also allowed only one child – unless the first child is a girl.
It is unclear why Feng, who has a six-year-old daughter, was forced to undergo an abortion or pay a fine. Feng's husband, Deng, believes the abortion should have been prevented under Chinese law.
Chinese officials confirmed in a statement on Thursday, following several days of international reports regarding the case, that following a preliminary investigation the reports were "basically true," according to the AFP.
The officials said that the case was being investigated and reportedly condemned the brutal and illegal tactics used by the local government.
"This is a serious violation of the National Population and Family Planning Commission's polices, jeopardizes the population control work and has caused uneasiness in society," reportedly reads the statement on the Shannxi provincial government website.
On Chinese social networking websites commenters have condemned the actions, with one commenter comparing the forced abortion to tactics used by the Nazi regime during WWII.
"This is what they say the Japanese devils and Nazis did. But it's happening in reality and it is by no means the only case," the commenter wrote on netease.com, according to AFP.
The commenter also called on the local officials responsible for the forced abortion to be "executed."
The Texas-based Christian evangelical aid organization ChinaAid has also spoken out against the tragedy.
"We are convinced that the tragedy of this kind of human extermination happens daily in many different places," ChinaAid founder and President Bob Fu said in a statement.
"We are dedicated to the building of a Chinese society that respects life, love, and justice," he added.
ChinaAid is currently highlighting the plight of another Chinese woman, 37-year-old Cao Ruuyi, who just last week was threatened with imminent forced abortion.
Cao has a deadline of June 16 to undergo an abortion or she must pay a "social burden fee" of $24,000 for her having her child. If she fails to pay the fee her child will not to be granted any basic social provisions such as health care or access to education under Chinese law.