AIDS and environmental activist and information point man for several imprisoned bloggers, lawyers and writers Hu Jia—husband of Zeng Jinyan—has, following six months of silence, updated his blog with the latest information [zh] on the situation of blind reproductive rights lawyer Chen Guangcheng, nearly a year to the day since his arrest:
Chen Guangcheng ordered beaten by police in Linyi prison, hunger strikes for four days in protest
In the lunar calendar
, June 19, 2007 is the fifth day of the fifth month: the Dragon Boat Festival
. Chen Guangcheng's wife Yuan Weijing, his older brother Chen Guangfu and uncle who lives far away in Hangzhou went to Linyi prison for their monthly visitation. Due to today's festivities, the families of many minimum security inmates have applied to have a meal together, but Yuan Weijing alone, when she applied on behalf of Guangcheng, was refused by the prison authorities, who said that Guangcheng is in ‘restricted security’ and could not eat with family. Wearing a t-shirt with Guangcheng's face printed upon it, Yuan Weijing stood out the most of all the inmates’ family members and, along with Guangcheng, was given different treatment by all prison staff. Yuan Weijing asked why Guangcheng had been moved to ‘restricted security’ and was told that all inmates having done less than a year are kept in ‘restricted security’. “We were surprised to see prison staff twist the law at will and speak nonsense.” The prison then immediately gave another explanation, saying that Guangcheng often filed complaints against the prison, bringing them to the police, and that this why he had been put in ‘restricted security’. This statement proves that the Linyi, Shandong political and legal departments are using illegal tactics to strike and get revenge in response to civil supervision and complaints filed against a judicial department.
At eleven am, Yuan Weijing and Chen Guangfu entered the visitation room and noticed that Guangcheng had been given 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's major during studies in Nanjing had been Chinese medicine and massage therapy and himself is a doctor, thus quite familiar with the human body. Feeling ache in his ribs, he speculated that his own ribs might be broken. 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, Chen Guangcheng's body will soon collapse.
Guangcheng's one year-old daughter Chen Kesi can normally recognize her father's appearance. She sees his face every day on the t-shirt that Yuan Weijing wears and this isn't the first time that she's been to the prison. But this time, when little Kesi saw shaved-bald Guangcheng with his grim expression, Kesi was unable to recognize her own father. Chen Guangfu and Yuan Weijing even saw scars on Chen Guangcheng's leg. Sorrowful Yuan Weijing continues to complain that Guangcheng is being mistreated to the inspectors stationed at the prison, demanding that prison authorities take Guangcheng to the hospital for an x-ray. Today is the Dragon Boat Festival, so she can't tell Guangcheng's mother and uncle about his having been beaten, to prevent his seventy-something old mother from being hurt.
One blind upholder of civil rights, using his self-taught legal knowledge to protect vulnerable groups in an authoritarian country like ours with laws but no rule of law. His civil rights-upholding actions have touched upon the ruthlessness and interests of corrupt local officials. The Chinese government, especially the Shandong political and legal departments, beginning on August 20, 2005
, have used a hundred different methods to suppress Chen Guangcheng and his wife Yuan Weijing, over twenty-two months of multiple cases of verbal abuse, illegal imprisonment and violent attack. Further, within the full view of the world, with irrefutable evidence, have criminalized a political case, using means of entrapment to wrongfully cast Chen Guangcheng into four years and three months in prison. This amounts to the human rights of the Chinese people being arbitrarily and completely trampled upon by state ‘criminal society’ forces.
To the international community: please pay concern to the blind Chen Guangcheng's treatment, the returning of his freedom, and the punishing of all those local government departmental representatives participating in persecuting Chen Guangcheng.
From my home in Bobo Freedom City,
Day 31 of being illegally under arrest by Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau State Security agents,
416 more days until the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games
I’ve been trying to build awareness about Chen Guangcheng situation in the United States through my blog http://stopgendercide.blogspot.com/, as well as in the classroom at Columbia University where I’m an Adjunct Professor of Social Work. I’ve also start an online petition for his release and currntly have about 85 signatures. Free Chen t-shirts have also been created and are for sale at http://www.cafepress.com/freechen to help build awareness.
Please continue to keep us updated about Chen’s condition and let us know what else we can do to help?