Chen Guangcheng & Wife Beaten by Local Authorities, Says Smuggled Letter

A smuggled letter describes the abuses suffered by activist Chen Guangcheng and his wife at the hands of local authorities during their long and ongoing house arrest. From the Associated Press:

A group of 70 to 80 men led by a local Communist Party official stormed the couple’s home in Shandong province’s Shuanghou village on Feb. 18 and beat them for two hours, Chen’s wife, Yuan Weijing, wrote. Her letter was posted Thursday on the website of the U.S.-based China Aid Association, a Christian rights group.

Chen passed out from the beating and Yuan may have suffered a broken rib and brow bone, she wrote ….

Yuan said local authorities have since put metal sheets over the couple’s windows, confiscated their computers, DVD players, cameras, flashlights, books, papers and other belongings, and installed two surveillance cameras outside their home ….

During another raid of their home on March 8, Shuanghou’s vice Communist Party secretary, Zhang Jian, punched Yuan in the head after she complained about authorities taking the family’s property, she wrote.

China Aid founder Bob Fu told The Associated Press on Friday that “a chain of carriers” helped to get the undated letter out of the village and into the hands of activists in China and abroad. The Associated Press couldn’t immediately verify its authenticity.