Legal activist Chen Guangcheng’s nephew Chen Kegui has been sentenced to 39 months in prison after a sudden trial seen as an early litmus test for Xi Jinping’s new Party leadership. Chen was charged with intentionally injuring men who had broken into his home in the middle of the night to search for his escaped uncle. Unusually, the verdict and sentence were announced on the day of the trial itself. From Gillian Wong at the Associated Press:
“This is a case that tramples on the rule of law. It is a declaration of war against fairness and justice in the world. I absolutely cannot accept this and am very, very angry,” said Chen Guangcheng in an interview from his home in New York where he has been studying English and law. “There is no doubt that this is a kind of retaliation against me.”
[…] Since Chen Kegui disappeared into police custody in May, Yinan authorities have not officially notified his family about the prosecution nor have they let family members see him or hire their own lawyers to defend him. Lawyers were instead appointed to him, and one of them told his father Chen Guangfu about the trial only on Friday morning.
[…] “I feel very disappointed,” the father said. “I had believed that once the new generation of leaders came to power there would be improvements in the rule of law, but now it looks like the situation is still the same.”
Activist Hu Jia, a close friend of Chen Guangcheng and one of the first people he met with after his escape, described Chen Guangfu’s predicament on Twitter as the trial was underway:
— Hu Jia 胡佳 (@hu_jia) November 30, 2012
Chen Kegui’s father, Chen Guangfu, has at no point been able to make direct...
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