As activist Chen Guangcheng remains in Beijing’s Chaoyang Hospital awaiting a passport to travel to the U.S. with his wife and family, his family back home in Linyi, Shandong is suffering the brunt of local officials’ anger over his escape earlier this month. His brother Chen Guangfu has told the media that he was tortured by security officers when he was detained for three days after his brother’s escape from de facto house arrest. Chen Guangfu spoke with isunaffairs magazine. From a BBC report on the interview:
“They put me on a chair, bound my feet with iron chains and locked my hands with handcuffs behind my back,” he said. “They pulled my hands upwards forcefully. Then they slapped me in the face.”
“They first asked me if I knew what this was about. I said ‘I don’t know’. So they beat me and slapped my face. Only on one side, not the other. And they trampled my feet with their leather shoes.”
He told them it was him who had helped Mr Chen because he did not want to implicate others involved, but then realised they knew more details.
”I resisted for a really long time,” he said. ”In the end I couldn’t hold out any more.”
The officials also told Chen Guanfu that his son, Chen Kegui, had hacked and wounded officials. Chen Kegui has since been charged with “intentional homicide”, but his lawyer says he was acting in self-defence.
The full isunaffairs interview with Chen Guangfu is on YouTube and has been translated in full by a CNN reporter, Steven Jiang, on his blog:
China Human Rights Defenders has more details about the situation involving Chen’s brother.
Meanwhile, in a phone call to a U.S. Congressional hearing on his situation, Chen defended Chen Guangfu and Chen Kegui. The Washington Post reports:
Chen complained Tuesday that his elder brother and nephew had both been beaten by Chinese authorities since Chen fled house arrest in late April.
Chen said a charge of homicide brought against his nephew was “trumped up” as he was acting in self-defense after being subjected to a three-hour beating that left him bleeding.
“This is a pattern,” Chen said. “This is not the first time it happened against my family.”
Rights activist Bob Fu, who translated Chen’s comments, earlier testified that Chen’s nephew, Chen Kegui, using a kitchen knife, had injured several people who had burst into his home without warrants.
Joshua Rosenzweig explains that “intentional homicide” in this case is similar to “attempted murder” since the victim survived.
Chen and his family are awaiting travel to the U.S. where Chen has been offered a scholarship to New York University Law School. Officials have told them they should receive passports within 15 days. From BBC:
Mr Chen said government officials came to see him on Wednesday and completed passport applications for him, his wife and their two children.
He said the officials told him the passport would take 15 days to issue, without giving a definite date.
“People from the immigration administration department have been here. We had our pictures taken and forms filled out. (They said) within 15 days,” Mr Chen said.
“They didn’t promise when we’ll get the passport. They didn’t say anything like we will definitely get the passport on a certain day, etc. There was nothing like that told to us,” he added.
Read much more about Chen’s current situation via CDT.