Blind China dissident says jailed nephew acted in self-defence

NEW YORK Tue Dec 4, 2012 12:45pm IST

Chen Kegui, nephew of blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng, is seen in this undated handout provided by Chen Kegui's lawyer to Reuters May 22, 2012. REUTERS/Handout

Chen Kegui, nephew of blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng, is seen in this undated handout provided by Chen Kegui's lawyer to Reuters May 22, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Handout

Related Topics

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, daughter of Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi, adjusts her flower garlands as she campaigns for her mother during an election meeting at Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh April 22, 2014. REUTERS/Pawan Kumar

Election 2014

More than 814 million people — a number larger than the population of Europe — are eligible to vote in the world’s biggest democratic exercise.  Full Coverage 

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng said the jailing of his nephew last week was on trumped up charges which ignored clear evidence that he had acted in self-defence after men armed with sticks forced their way into his home and beat him.

Chen's nephew Chen Kegui was given a three-year three-month jail term last week after being charged with using knives to fend off officials who burst into his home on April 27. It was the day after they discovered his uncle had escaped from 19 months of house arrest in eastern Shandong province and fled to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.

"At that time, he had many injuries to his neck, body and legs and the doctor who treated him at that time said he was still bleeding after three hours," Chen Guangcheng told Reuters in an interview in New York, where he is now studying, late on Monday.

"Chen Kegui was chased with sticks from room-to-room, and beaten many times. In that situation, if he didn't defend himself, he could have been beaten to death. So he grabbed a knife from the kitchen to defend himself," he added.

"In that situation, he was accused of intentionally inflicting injury. The fact that this unfair treatment -- illegally entering of a civilian's home and assaulting him -- was not mentioned by the justice department demonstrates fully that the Chinese legal system has no law to follow."

The self-taught legal advocate's escape from house arrest in April and subsequent refuge in the U.S. Embassy was deeply embarrassing for China, and led to a diplomatic tussle between the two countries.

Chen was subsequently allowed to leave China for the United States.

The United States has expressed worry about his nephew's case, though Beijing insists the decision was reached fairly and legally.

"Chen Kegui's case is very clearly a continuation of the persecution of our family - the reason these people went to Chen Kegui's home to beat and rob him," Chen said.

"The reason is that their attempt to illegally detain me long-term was a failure. I escaped from Shandong and their torture. They were furious, so they climbed over the wall into Chen Kegui's home in the middle of the night to beat and rob him."

Calls to the regional government in Shandong seeking comment went unanswered.

Chen provided video of Chen Kegui's mother Ren Zongju describing what happened to her and her son on the day of the incident.

"They just broke the doors and went in and they started searching around in the room. They were beating my son. Perhaps a lot of them went in together. I heard them yelling, 'beat him to death.' I rushed out bare-footed," Ren said in the video.

"In the beating, my son fell from the balcony. He got up from the ground. I held him in my arms ... He said, 'Mum, there are so many of them. They'll beat me to death. And you are holding me.' He struggled to get away from me," Ren said, adding that they then went on to beat her.

Images on the video show a large broken stick that the family says was used to hit them.

(Reporting by Reuters Televisionin New York; Writing by Ben Blanchard and Maxim Duncan in Beijing, Editing by Jonathan Thatcher)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Ukraine Crisis

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Ferry Tragedy

Ferry Tragedy

Children's corpses in Korean ferry reveal desperate attempts to escape.  Full Article 

Reconciliation Deal

Reconciliation Deal

Hamas, Abbas's PLO announce reconciliation agreement.  Full Article 

Missing Airliner

Missing Airliner

Australia, Malaysia vow to keep searching to solve plane mystery  Full Article 

Reassuring Allies

Reassuring Allies

Obama seeks to ease Asian allies' doubts during visit to Japan  Full Article 

CAR Violence

CAR Violence

Exclusive: Russia, China block C.African Republic blacklistings at U.N.  Full Article 

Apology for Massacre

Apology for Massacre

Turkey's Erdogan offers condolences for 1915 Armenia killings.  Full Article 

Syria War

Syria War

Syrians' plight worsens, hope for political deal fades  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage