Chinese Activist, Now in U.S., Cites Harassment of Family

It is almost a year since legal activist Chen Guangcheng made his startling escape from illegal detention in Shandong and sought shelter in the U.S. embassy in Beijing, before leaving China to study in New York. The New York Times’ Chris Buckley reports Chen and his brother’s accusations of continuing harassment of the family members he left behind:

“In fact, they’ve never stopped monitoring us for one day after Chen Guangcheng left,” the brother, Chen Guangfu, who lives in Dongshigu village, in Shandong Province, said Wednesday. “There’s still surveillance in the village. The guards, they’re still here, just a bit more hidden.”

He said he was followed recently. “The situation is still quite tense here,” he said. He also reported new pressure on his son, Chen Kegui, who was sentenced to three years and three months in prison in November for assaulting and injuring a government official who broke into the family’s home in April during a frantic search for the escaped Mr. Chen. The brief trial was riddled with irregularities that thwarted the defense, said lawyers supporting the family.

When Chen Guangfu and other family members visited on Feb. 28, Chen Kegui told them he was beaten and threatened by guards before the trial, and that he has since been warned by prison officials not to try any appeals of his sentence, said the father.

[…] Prison guards kept close watch on the visit, and Chen Kegui appeared reluctant to recount details of what he has been through, Chen Guangcheng said. “It’s clear that there are other things he’s holding back from saying,” he added.

See more on Chen Kegui’s case via CDT.