Human Rights in China (HRIC) has learned from eyewitnesses that on October 30, 2011, 37 rights defenders and netizens who attempted to visit the blind legal advocate Chen Guangcheng (陈光诚) in Linyi, Shandong Province, were beaten by around 100 unidentified individuals. Many of them were injured, and seriously. The rights defenders and netizens came from different parts of the country to show their support for Chen, who has been under house arrest since he was released from prison in September 2010 and was reported to have been brutally beaten over the past several months.
According to rights defender Mao Hengfeng (毛恒凤), who was among those beaten and injured, at around 1:30 p.m. on October 30, she and the other 36 visitors were surrounded and beaten by around 100 people at Quanqiao, Yi’nan, on Route 205, about 200 meters away from the village where Chen Guangcheng lives. Among those injured are: Li Yu (李宇), Liu Li (刘力), Zhao Zhengjia (赵振甲), Zheng Peipei (郑培培), and Li Guanrong (李贯蓉). Mao said that a villager who witnessed the beating told the group that Chen himself is currently beaten daily and is facing grave danger.
Shanghai rights defender Jin Yuehua (金月花) told HRIC that when she and Shan Yajuan (单亚娟) tried to videotape the group’s beating, they were almost hit by a police vehicle with a license plate number “Lu-Q9753” and another vehicle without a license plate. After they called the emergency number, four ambulances arrived but left without helping anyone.
Netizen San Long Yong Shi (三龙勇士) told HRIC that after dialing the emergency number “110” numerous times, several officers from the Duozhuang substation of the public security bureau of the neighboring Mengyin County arrived. The officers took Li Yu (李宇), Liu Ping (刘萍), and Shan Yangjuan (单亚娟) away; their cell phones have been turned off, and they have not been heard from since.
According to San Long Yong Shi, more than 20 of the victims went to the Linyi Municipal Public Security Bureau to file the case on the following day, October 31. They asked the police to guarantee their safety while they are in Linyi. San Long Yong Shi said that the vice director of the bureau, a Mr. Xie (Officer No. 078171), met with the group and asked them to report the case to the plainclothes policemen and “special” police officers present. One of the plainclothes officers told the group to get into a police vehicle to go to a police substation. When the group insisted on seeing his police identification, that person said: “If you keep making trouble, we will wipe you out.”
For more information on Chen Guangcheng, see: