Imprisoned ‘Blind Lawyer’ Beaten, on Hunger Strike – Hu Jia

Chinese activist Hu Jia recently updated his blog with a post on the status of Chen Guangcheng (ÈôàÂÖâËØö), the celebrated Blind Lawyer who was arrested and imprisoned last year after exposing gross abuse of China’s birth-control policy by officials in Shandong Province.

Hu’s information appears to come from Chen’s wife, Yuan Weijing, who apparently visited her husband in prison earlier today and found him in very poor condition. John Kennedy at Global Voices provides the translation:

At eleven am, Yuan Weijing and Chen Guangfu entered the visitation room and noticed that Guangcheng had been a ‘convict bald shave’ and that he had an extremely bad look in his eyes; when it was mentioned that his uncle had come from far away and was just outside, Guangcheng had no visible response. Guangcheng told Yuan Weijing and Chen Guangfu that because he persisted in filing complaints every day, the prison authorities had deemed him ‘disobedient’ and had six convicts punch and kick him… Guangcheng has been protesting by means of a hunger strike now in its fourth day. For seventy-six hours he has refused food and water; in the midst of summer, ’s body will soon collapse. [Full Text]

Hu also reports that prison officials told Yuan her husband was on ‘restricted security’ status for lodging protests against the prison. [NOTE: China Digital Times has not been able to independently verify any of this information.]

Chen was sentenced to four years and three months in prison on charges of ‘disturbing the public order’ last August (see TIME reporter Hannah Beech’s reaction to the conviction here). The trial, kept out of the Chinese press, was widely described by human rights groups as a sham.

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