02/16/2011, 00.00
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The daily persecution of the Chinese police against Democrats

Beatings, threats, illegal arrests: the authorities are trying to silence human rights activists and democrats. A human rights group points out various abuses. Stones at journalists who go to visit the blind activist Chen Guangcheng.

Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Chinese security forces have attacked and stoned some foreign journalists who tried to visit the home of human rights activist Chen Guangcheng, under house arrest in Dongshigu (Shandong). The group Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) reports that Beijing is trying to silence dissidents, through beatings and illegal arrests.

Journalists assaulted by security forces and forced to turn back, work for CNN, the New York Times, Le Monde, Le Nouvel Observatour and Radio France International.

Chen, who is blind, is a well known activist who fights for civil rights. Last week he returned home after a long detention on spurious charges, he was beaten in his home with his wife Yuan Weijing, by Chinese police as a "punishment" for having released a video in which the activist claims to be still under an illegal house arrest, despite having served his sentence of four years. He and his wife can not leave the house, the phone is cut off, and friends kept at a distance.

CHRD denounces that "the Chinese government with certainty has no legal reason to detain Chen Guangcheng at and his family home." The group points out other cases of illegal house arrest of activists and their close relatives and asks the government to stop these abuses. From Liu Xia, wife of the 2010 Nobel prize for peace Liu Xiaobo, held at home since October 2010. The same fate for Zeng Jinyan, wife of the jailed Hu Jia, for years subjected to threats and illegal detention, even with their little daughter (pictured).

The wife and children of rights defender Gao Zhisheng (who has been "missing" for years) and those of imprisoned activist Guo Feixiong fled to the United States in 2009, to escape the continuous police persecution.

On 1 July 2010 the police raided the house of Li Jinfang and Li Zhuyang, ex-wife and daughter of activist Qin Yongmin. The women were questioned for hours, threatened with arrest for serious crimes, documents and computers were seized, their bank account "frozen". Li Zhuyang was threatened with expulsion from the university, because of her parent’s activities.

After release from prison in December 2010, activist Hada, from Inner Mongolia, disappeared with his wife Xinna and son Uiles, it seems they are being forcibly held by the police in a "luxury" hotel in unknown location. Previously, police had repeatedly interrogated and threatened his wife and son.

Activist Duan Huimin died in January 2007, shortly after his release from prison. His sister Duan Chunfang denounced torture and called for investigations and has since been threatened by police, arrested and sentenced to prison for "obstructing official business".

Christian activist Fan Yafeng was beaten and along with his wife Wu Lingling has been put under house arrest without trial since last December,.

Today, Mark Toner, spokesman for the U.S. State Department, urged Beijing to end the unjust arrest of Chen and his family.

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