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Blind Lawyer Chen Guangcheng Reported Missing, Brother Taken Away, Nephew Fears for His Own Life

April 26, 2012

According to Chen Kegui (陈克贵), a nephew of blind rights defense lawyer Chen Guangcheng (陈光诚), who has been under house arrest since September 2010, is now missing from his home. Chen Kegui also told Human Rights in China (HRIC) that Chen Guangfu (陈光福) – Chen Kegui’s father and Chen Guangcheng’s older brother – had been taken away sometime in the late evening of April 26. He does not know who took his father as he did not witness it occur.

Chen reported that on April 26, his mother overheard one of the guards watching Chen Guangcheng’s home say on the phone, “Chen Guangcheng is no longer here.” Chen Guangcheng’s home is about 200 meters from Chen Kegui and his parents’ home in Dongshigu Village, Shuanghou Township, Linyi, Shangdong Province.

Chen Kegui said that in the early morning of April 27, he was awoken by footsteps outside his home and heard his mother shouting, “What do you want?” He grabbed two kitchen knives for self-defense. Then he saw several people in his front yard, including Shuanghou Township head Zhang Jian (张健) who is in charge of enforcing his uncle’s house arrest. When Zhang saw Chen Kegui holding the knives, he ordered the men to beat Chen with wooden sticks, so Chen fought back in self-defense. He did not know how many people he injured, but said that all of the men fled. He then called the police to report the incident, but no police showed up. Chen said that he is now in hiding and fears that Zhang Jian will return to kill him.

Chen Guangcheng’s case has attracted wide international attention. He was imprisoned for four years and three months after he helped villagers resist forced abortions. After his release in September 2010, he and his wife, Yuan Weijing (袁伟静), were forbidden to leave their home. The couple subsequently detailed their experiences and abuses under house arrest on videotapes that were distributed on the Internet in February 2011. They were reportedly subjected to even harsher treatment afterwards. In December 2011, American actor Christian Bale was punched by men guarding the village when he tried to visit Chen.

For more information on Chen Guangcheng, see:

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