- In a video appeal, fugitive blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng called on
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to protect his family, as he pointed the finger at
local officials who, he said, abused him and his family when he was under house
though I am now free, I am still concerned because my family-my mother, my
wife, my child-are still in their hands," he said on the video posted on youtube.
"They have hurt
them for a long time," he added, "and they could enact crazed revenge on them
because of my departure. This revenge could be completely unrestrained."
escape, Chen was under house arrest since September 2010 at his home near Linyi
after he was released from a four-year jail sentence for campaigning on behalf
of women forced by Shandong authorities to have abortions or undergo sterilisation.
News about his
escape was made public today. In dissident circles, people are saying that he
is in a "safe location in Beijing" with rumours claiming that he is at the US
Embassy in Beijing.
What is certain
is that the lives of his family are now at risk. Police and thugs have visited
his brother's family last night and his nephew Chen was arrested.
He Peirong, one
of Chen's supporters who helped transport him to his current safe location, was
also arrested this morning at her home in the eastern city of Nanjing.
A few months
ago, after Chen posted another video showing his confined life, some men barged
into his home, beat his wife and daughter causing bleeding, telling them not to
go to the hospital for treatment.
video, Chen appealed to Wen Jiabao to punish severely local police and
officials for making his life and that of his family a living hell.
is really too inhuman, and it harms the image of the (Communist) Party,"
he said, citing several examples of mistreatment.
In particular, Chen
singled out Zhang Jian, deputy party chief of Shuanghou township, which includes
Chen's village within its jurisdiction.
This official "repeatedly
made it known that we don't need to worry about the law, we don't need to worry
about regulations, we don't need any legal procedures," Chen explained.
Hence, "I am
very worried" and "ask netizens to keep watch" and "our government to guarantee
my family's safety."