Chen gets US visa; addresses Congressional hearing over phone

WASHINGTON, May 16: Getting ready to travel to the US on a fellowship, blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng spoke to American lawmakers for the second time in a week and gave a detailed account of his alleged persecution and that of his family by Chinese authorities.
40-year-old Chen, who last month escaped house arrest in China and took shelter in US embassy, narrated his story over phone to the lawmakers during a Congressional hearing yesterday.
Speaking in Chinese, which was translated into English, Chen complained that after he escaped from his home on April 26, his elder brother and nephew had been beaten up by the Chinese authorities.
“A group of local government hard thugs led by the local township leader, Mr Dong Gyen, raided my elder brother, Chen Guangfu’s home at midnight. This group of thugs … Just broke into my elder brother’s home and started beating them violently. My elder brother was taken away by these thugs and without any reasoning,” Chen said.
The translation was done by human rights activist Bob Fu.
“Then they came back and started beating up my nephew, Chen Kegui, and they used sticks and violently beat him up. Then for three hours he’s bleeding on his head and his face, would not stop. So this was so violent that Chen Kegui, according to my knowledge, had to defend himself,” the blind Chinese activist said.
Though, he was addressing a Congressional briefing from China for the second time in a week, this was for the first time that he gave a detailed account of the alleged persecution of his family.
“This charge against my nephew, Chen Kegui, for so-called intentional homicide is totally pumped-up charge. For himself at his own home to be accused of committing this crime for intentional homicide to those intruders is totally absurd and irrational, unreasonable,” he said.
“So, this guy, this township leader, Mr Dongyan, had led from 40 to sometimes 80 officials, guards and thugs, raided my home in the past year and beat me and my family seriously. And so this is a pattern already. It’s not the first time he had (acted) against my family.
“After my nephew was beaten up and he actually was waiting and waiting to surrender himself, and the police come back again and violently beat up my sister-in-law,” he said. (PTI)


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