Chen Guangcheng one step closer to U.S., while his family is tortured
The dissident said that "within 15 days," the Chinese government will give him, his wife and children a passport to study in the United States. But in Shandong repression against his family continues: his older brother was tortured, his nephew is in jail.

Beijing (AsiaNews) - The blind dissident Chen Guangcheng said that he and his family should have their passports in 15 days that will allow him to leave China for the U.S.: "Some officials came yesterday and we filled out forms for passports for me, my wife and my children, " said Chen from the hospital in Beijing where he has been staying for several days. "We were told that the documents should be ready within 15 days."

Chen, who escaped from house arrest in his home village in Shandong, is known worldwide for his battles against forced abortions and illegal expropriation of land. After his escape he fled the American embassy in Beijing where he spent 6 days. Persuaded to leave with various assurances from both the Americans and Chinese, he is in fact again under arrest in a hospital in the capital.

In the meantime, however, the Chinese regime continues to pursue its vendetta against the family of the dissident. Chen Guangfu, Guangcheng's elder brother, was tortured and beaten in late April, after blind activist's escape from arrest. According to Chinese Human Rights Defender, citing anonymous sources, local officials in Shandong had beaten Chen Guangfu's hands with a leather belt, hit him in the ribs and stepped on his foot with force during an interrogation that lasted several hours.

Guangfu was then forced to leave his village and has not yet regained feeling in his left hand or right foot. The Chen Guanfu's son, Chen Kegui, and his wife were beaten. Chen Kegui was arrested on charges of attempted murder for having stabbed a few officers who had raided his home. Yesterday, lawyer Si Weijiang, tried to obtain permission from the authorities to visit Chen Kegui in prison. So far, no-one has been able to meet with or speak to Chen Guangcheng's nephew.