Human Rights in China (HRIC) has learned that Yuan Weijing, the wife of blind activist Chen Guangcheng, was stopped and detained by police in Linyi City, Shandong Province, on October 3 where she and her daughter were in transit on the way to her parents’ home for the Mid-Autumn Festival.
After Yuan Weijing was taken to the
Since Chen Guangcheng was taken into custody on March 11, Yuan Weijing has been reportedly kept under 24-hour surveillance by the police. She is followed whenever she goes out, even when shopping for groceries. After learning of Yuan Weijing’s plan to visit her parents two days ago, police increased the number of guards outside her house. It has been over a year since she last visited her parents on August 20, 2005, where her three-year-old son also lives.
After Chen Guangcheng was charged with “deliberately damaging property and gathering a mob to disrupt traffic” in mid-June, his hearing was delayed until August 18, 2006. Chen was represented by court-appointed lawyers after police detained three members of his defense time the night before his trial. On August 24, 2006, Chen was sentenced to four years and three months’ imprisonment.
Chen Guangcheng is appealing the judgment. After numerous attempts, Chen’s two lawyers, Li Fangping and Li Jingsong, were finally able to meet with him. On September 28, they were notified by the Linyi City Intermediate People’s Court that Chen’s appeal hearing would be closed.
Yuan Weijing noted that this kind of operating behind closed doors only demonstrated that the Linyi City authorities were afraid to allow public scrutiny of the evidence and judicial process, and that if the facts were made public it would prove Chen’s innocence.
HRIC condemns the harassment of Chen Guangcheng and his family and urges the international community to condemn the ongoing crack down on and intimidation of numerous other human rights defenders in