Saturday 21 October 2017

Chinese activist's brother flees village for Beijing

Malcolm Moore in Beijing

THE brother of the blind lawyer Chen Guangcheng has become the second member of the family to escape from a heavily guarded village in northern China.

Chen Guangfu (55) slipped out of his home in Dongshigu at 3am on Tuesday, dodging a ring of sentries by running through wheat fields.

He arrived in Beijing on Wednesday evening after a six-hour car journey to seek legal help for his son, who faces charges after clashing with local officials.

Chen Guangcheng caused a diplomatic crisis between America and China last month after escaping from house arrest and sheltering in the American embassy.

Tortured

The incident dominated a visit to China by Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state. Last week, the lawyer flew to New York with his family.

Chen Guangfu said that he had been tortured after his brother's escape and prevented from leaving the village. His son, Kegui, has been charged with attempted murder after raising a knife at local officials. His wife, Ren Zongju, may also be charged with "harbouring" her son.

Reprisals against the Chen family began on April 27, soon after Chen Guangcheng's escape was detected. Chen Guangfu said men had climbed over the walls of the family's home and kicked open its doors.

He said they hooded him and took him to a police building, where he was handcuffed and had his feet bound. He said he was beaten for "a long time".

When asked by the police for an account of his brother's escape, he said that he had a family obligation to help him.

"I don't think he is a criminal. I don't think I am in the wrong for helping a free citizen," he told them.

His son, Chen Kegui (32) is being held in a detention centre in Yinan and authorities have barred family and lawyers from visiting him. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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