Calls to Free Blind Activist Met With Violence; Videos by Supporters Posted Online
Activist Chen Guangcheng was released from prison last year and has since been held under tight house arrest, during which he and his wife have endured beatings and their young daughter has been prohibited from attending school. Chinese activists who have tried to visit Chen and his family have been forcibly prevented from entering his village and in some cases beaten. Global Voices has translated the accounts by two such activists posted on Twitter:
@miaojue, an AIDS activist and a Buddhist nun, urged for help this morning [zh] in an Internet cafe:
Please help: Last night @lss007 and I were caught at Dongshi town Guchuan village. Around us were 20 big Shandong guys who surrounded us and dragged us to a dark house. They took off our clothes, stole our cell phones and money. They covered our heads with bags and threw us out (separately) from the car in the middle of nowhere at Laiwu city, Miaoshan town. I ran into a good hearted driver who drove me to Miaoshan and gave me 10 RMB. Please help to contact three of my Twitter friends (who were in Linyi) to come here and help. I don’t have any money with me and am now starving. Pearlher has their phone numbers.
@lss007 briefly wrote [zh] what she had been through this morning:
I was dragged out of the car, robbed, harassed, had a bag tied to my head, was suffocated with a jacket, thrown out into a field, in a pool of water. I was bleeding from the beating, and dumped in the middle of nowhere.
Other intellectuals and activists have been campaigning for better treatment of Chen as well, including a call by @pearlher for supporters to submit video appeals that have been posted, and usually removed from, Youku. Many of the videos have since been uploaded to YouTube (h/t @bendilaowai). Five of them can be seen below; additional videos are available here.