Chen Guangcheng’s Nephew Targeted by Security Forces

May 7, 2012 Updated: October 1, 2015
Hospital security guards stand outside
A scene from outside the Chaoyang Hospital in Beijing where Chen Guangcheng, the escaped activist, awaits news of his expected safe passage to the United States. (Mark Ralston / Getty Images)

In the ongoing spate of reprisals against supporters of blind lawyer Chen Guangcheng, a nephew is now reportedly in police custody. 

Chen Kegui was put in “criminal detention” at the Yinan County Detention Center, according to a Twitter message by Mo Zhixu, an independent writer based in Beijing. Mo transmitted the news on another individual’s behalf who is considered a reliable source.

Chen Kegui’s parents had been sent home, the post said.

Mo told Voice of America that his source was reliable and was a human rights activist who was warned not to release the news. Mo posted the news for the activist. 

Soon after Chen Guangchen’s daring escape on April 22 became public, officials thought to be acting under the direction of local town chief, Zhang Jian, swooped down on the home of Chen Guangcheng’s family members—including his nephew, Chen Kegui. 

Chen Kegui responded by grabbing two kitchen knives and slashed at his attackers before escaping, according to a dramatic transcript of a phone call with him, produced by U.S.-based writer Cao Yaxue.

Chen Kegui went into hiding because he feared being hunted down and beaten to death by local security forces, who often behave lawlessly, he indicated in the telephone call.

Many of Chen Guangchen’s other relatives were taken away by police, including Chen’s older brother, cousin, and cousin’s sons. 

Chen Guangcheng had been threatened by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in the six days he stayed in the U.S. Embassy. He was told that his family would be sent back to Shandong if he did not leave the embassy on May 2. 

“[Chen’s wife] said that the local officials had set up cameras and lived in their house. They were waiting for her with sticks,” wrote Zeng Jinyan, a friend of Chen’s on Twitter. The statements were later confirmed by Chen’s wife.

Chen is known for his work exposing the implementation of the Communist Party’s “one-child policy,” which includes forced sterilizations and forced abortions, often paired with violence.
He was put under extralegal house arrest after serving a four-year prison sentence ending in 2010, until his escape on April 22.

Read original Chinese article.

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