Operation Free Chen Guangcheng

By Gisela Sommer, Epoch Times
October 30, 2011 2:52 am Last Updated: October 1, 2015 3:14 pm

Chen Guangcheng (The Epoch Times)
Chen Guangcheng (The Epoch Times)
Blind Chinese human rights activist Chen Guangcheng and his wife Yuan Weijing were brutally beaten for four straight hours by the local mayor and other officials in July of this year, in the presence of their terrified young daughter, Chen Kesi.

The disturbing information was related to The Epoch Times on Oct. 27 by He Peirong, a resident of Nangjing, after reports earlier this month that Chen may be dead, and amidst growing calls for support and investigation.

Ms. He has been a friend and supporter of Chen’s and twice visited him at his home in Dongshigu Village, Linyi County of Shandong Province where he has been under house arrest since being released from prison on Sept. 9, 2010.

Chen and his wife and child have lived in near total isolation during the past 14 months. To stop Chen from contacting the outside world, local authorities place around-the-clock guards and installed electronic shielding devices around his house.

But on the evening July 25, a thunderstorm disrupted the shielding devices, and Chen was able to use his phone and talk with several friends, using a phone card.

However, his phone calls were monitored, Ms. He said, and that’s what brought him the beating three days later.

At 2 p.m. on July 28, Zhang Jian, the mayor of Shuanghou Town with a group of his people placed Dongshigu Village under martial law.

According to Ms. He, they then broke into Chen’s house and asked whom he obtained the calling card from, but Chen refused to say. Zhang and his people then searched the house and found the card in a pile of ashes.

At 4 p.m. Zhang shut off the power to Chen’s house and the men beat Chen and his wife for four hours in the presence of the little girl.

Villagers at first heard Chen’s screams of pain and his wife shouting angry objections. Later both adults screamed and their daughter was crying.

Chen’s elderly mother, who also lives at the house, was in the fields at the time. After returning home, she was also heard crying loudly for a long time. Many villagers said her cries broke their hearts.

After the beating, two doctors were sent to Chen’s house.

Ms. He said she was one of the people Chen called on the day of the thunderstorm. Chen said since he was released from prison, he has had a lot of blood in his stool. His family lives on homegrown vegetables and chickens they raise. They didn’t have much food left at the house and were short of daily supplies. His elderly mother was not allowed to buy things they needed. Worst of all, his daughter, who had reached school age, was not permitted to go to school.

Chen also told her that he called her because he wanted to hear her voice.

“I was very touched. Chen is the most courageous and indomitable angel. He did not give up in the worst circumstances. He always believes that his friends will take good care of his child and try their best to rescue him. I will not disappoint him. Chen yearns to have contact with the outside and continues to make phone calls from home. I don’t regret what I have done and will not give up trying to rescue him. I will do whatever it takes to get justice for him and his wife,” Ms. He said.

Calls for Justice

Dr. Yang Jianli, a visiting research fellow at Harvard Law School, has submitted a document about Chen’s persecution to the U.S. State Department on Oct. 17. In the document, Yang described how Li Chun, a member of the Shandong Province Standing Committee, is involved in Chen’s persecution. Yang calls on the international community to help bring Li and others responsible for persecuting Chen to justice.

“Li Chun is involved in all aspects of Chen’s persecution. Li’s continual promotion encourages those who work with him in persecuting Chen. We ask all countries to deny him a [entry] visa. We can punish those [involved in Chen’s persecution] with international mechanisms,” Yang told New Tang Dynasty Television.

According to ChinaAid Association and Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs unanimously passed a resolution to support Chen and his wife. Both human rights groups are leading an international effort to free Chen and have set up petitions on their websites.

ChinaAid’s president Bob Fu said in a news release, “The Chinese government’s brutality against brave individuals like Mr. Chen who promote the rule of law should certainly make the world seriously doubt the sincerity of the Chinese government's commitment to international human rights.”

Voice of America
reported on Oct. 5 that some villagers said Chen is already dead.

Previous Beatings

The couple was severely beaten on past occasions. In a letter Chen’s wife described a beating incident in February to a friend.

“On the afternoon of Feb. 18, 2011, 70-80 people broke through our front door led by Zhang Jian, the deputy secretary of the Shuanghou Township, under the auspices of Yinan National Security.

“My husband Chen Guangcheng and I were once again viciously beaten and subjected to more than two hours of savage torture. Without any legal formalities our house was looted by dozens of people not in uniform. My husband and I were seriously injured, and not even allowed to seek medical treatment.”

Chen, a self-taught lawyer and nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, spent four years and three months in prison on trumped-up charges after he exposed the systematic use of forced abortions and involuntary sterilization as part of China’s one-child policy. While in prison, Chen was also subjected to torture.

Stream of Chinese Supporters

Peter Foster of The Daily Telegraph, who has been in Beijing since 2009, said in an Oct. 27 report that an increasing number of China’s netizens skip censorship and brave beatings to expose Chen’s torment.

Foster said he witnessed a woman being slapped in the face by an officer at the Dongshigu village police station on Oct. 26. The woman is one of a growing stream of people who have marshaled themselves over the Internet and traveled to Dongshigu village to support Chen, he said.

“What started as a trickle of visitors has become a steady flow, with more than 30 people arriving at the village last weekend alone, despite the almost certain prospect of being greeted by violence,” Foster said.

“Operation Free Chen Guangcheng” is perhaps one of the clearest examples of what frightens the Communist Party,” and is one of the reasons why authorities have announced plans to control social networking sites more tightly in the name of maintaining so-called social stability, Foster said.

Read the original Chinese article .