Rome (AsiaNews) - Chen Guangcheng, the blind activist who has for years denounced abortion and forced sterilization in China, has disappeared. Groups of thugs with the police assaulted the brother of Chen and his family, arresting his nephew. The dissident community fears for the lives of both, exposed to possible executions.
Since this morning, many sources related to Chen, confirm that he has "disappeared" from the residence where he was under forced detention in Lin Yi, Shandong.
Yaxue Cao, an activist involved with Chen, has confirmed that Chen is no longer in the house were he was kept under house arrest. According to Reggie Littlejohn, American activist who campaigns for Chen, He Peirong confirmed that he had helped the blind activist escape from Shandong. He said that his health is good, but now there is fear for his life. She said that the life of Chen's relatives (mother, wife, daughter and son, brothers ...) are in danger.
As if to confirm this danger last night Chen's brother faced a gang of thugs, led by the village chief, against whom he and his son Chen Kegui could only defend themselves with kitchen knives. Once they had sent them fleeing, Chen Kegui turned himself in to police.
Chen Guangcheng has campaigned for years against forced abortions and sterilizations in Shandong. After 130 thousand cases of forced terminations by the authorities for family planning in the province, in 2006, Chen was sentenced to four years and three months. Released in September of 2010, since then the authorities have forced the total isolation, with his wife and his six year old daughter, unable to go to school. The other son, aged eight, lives with his grandparents.
In February of last year, the activist, who has also defended the peasants against the expropriation of land, had managed to send abroad a video about his detention. Because of this, he, his wife and daughter were savagely beaten by police, who would not allow them to go to the hospital.