Blind Chinese civil rights activist Chen Guangcheng has been under tight house arrest for over a year, raising growing international concern for his and his family’s safety and civil liberties. An Israeli journalist, accompanied by four Chinese civil right activists, unsuccessfully attempted to visit Chen on Sept. 21. They were intercepted and attacked by several dozen thugs.
Ms. Rechal Beitarie, a reporter for the Calcalist and Israel Radio, and civil right activists Liu Shasha, Huang Bin, Huanghuang, and Wang Xuezhen went by two cars to Linyi City in Shandong Province, Chen’s hometown, trying to obtain news about Chen’s daughter Kesi. Six-year-old Kesi was to start school this month, but according to reports, her school attendance has met with obstacles because of her family being under house arrest.
But the investigative team did not reach Chen’s home or his daughter’s school, according to Ms. He “Pearl” Peirong, a woman from Nanjing, who has long been concerned about Chen’s situation, and who has kept in communication with the group of five investigators.
At noon on Sept. 21, as they were parking their cars about 300 yards away from Shuanghou Elementary School, over 30 thugs surrounded them, taking all of their belongings, including Beitarie’s passport.
"Beitarie was pushed into a taxi. As the taxi sped away, Beitarie saw one of the activists from her group running to escape from the thugs, while another was squatting at the roadside after having been caught." Ms. Pearl told the Epoch Times.
Beitarie told the taxi driver several times to stop the car, but he refused and proceeded driving to downtown Linyi.
Beitarie was released unharmed, though the exact circumstances are presently unclear. Linyi City Public Security Bureau later notified her that she could pick up her documents and personal belongings at its Lanshan Daling Station office.
Presently, the four Chinese activists are still missing. Phone calls to them remain unanswered.
Previous to this incident, on Sept. 19, five other people had tried to visit Chen but were stopped by thugs at around 1 a.m. at the entrance of the village, and dropped off in the wilderness.
On Sept. 22, Chinese AIDS activist Hu Jia posted a message on Twitter, calling on international media to show more concern for Chen, who has suffered incarceration and persecution for six years.
“Since the war in Lybia has come to an end, those war correspondents, fully experienced in battlefield and antiterrorist survival techniques, [should] be sent to Shandong, China, so as to witness and record the war between a blind human-rights activist and communist guards.” Hu said.
He advised that anyone coming to this “war zone” take out life and property insurance beforehand.
Chen has gained worldwide prominence for exposing forced abortions and sterilizations that are part of the Chinese regime’s one-child population control. Chen’s activism has irritated authorities and he was sent to prison for over four years where he suffered repeated torture. Upon his release on Sept. 9, 2010 he was put under house arrest.
During this last year the family has been subjected to nearly total isolation. In addition, Chen and his wife have been violently beaten and harassed on several occasions after they tried to make contact with the outside world.
Read the original Chinese article.