Chen Guangcheng

Chen Guangcheng's brother beaten in latest apparent revenge attack on family

Targeting of activist Chen Guangcheng's family grows in apparent case of punishment by proxy

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 09 May, 2013, 4:38pm
UPDATED : Friday, 10 May, 2013, 5:13am

The elder brother of exiled blind activist Chen Guangcheng was beaten by two unidentified men yesterday morning, the latest in a string of mysterious attacks on the family in the past few weeks.

Chen Guangfu , 56, said he was riding an electric bicycle towards his home village of Dongshigu in Shandong province at around 10am when a black car overtook him and stopped him. Two young men jumped out and beat him on his head and chest and kicked him, also badly damaging his bicycle.

He said the men appeared to be government-hired thugs as their actions were swift and "very professional".

He said the men appeared to be government-hired thugs as their actions were swift and very professional

As he was talking to the Post by phone, the black car returned and loitered around him, he said while standing by the motorway.

"I don't know whether they are trying to end my life," he said, sounding terrified.

Chen Guangfu said he feared the attacks on his family were retaliation by officials. Harassment of his family appeared to have intensified in recent weeks after his brother spoke to a US congressional panel about human rights abuses on the mainland.

"They can't do anything about Guangcheng, so they are taking revenge on me," he said.

For many nights since mid-April, unidentified people have thrown rocks, bottles, funeral paper offerings and dead poultry into the courtyard of his house.

His son, Chen Kegui , who is suffering appendicitis in prison, was denied medical parole. Chen Guangfu said the family was told he was given antibiotics but believed he was denied adequate medical treatment.

Chen Kegui was jailed for three years after he injured officials who stormed into his house a year ago when they discovered that Chen Guangcheng had escaped extra-legal house arrest.

Before Chen Guangcheng fled to the US Embassy in Beijing a year ago, later going into exile in the United States, he spent years under house arrest and in jail for exposing forced abortions and sterilisation in rural Shandong.

A staff member at the Duozhuang township police station, near where Chen Guangfu was attacked, said officers went to the scene after he called for help but refused to comment further.

Chen Guangcheng, who is studying law in New York, said the treatment of his brother's family was "obviously" revenge.

"They can do nothing to control what I say to the international community, so they are threatening and oppressing [my relatives] in order to shut me up," he said.

But he was unbowed, saying: "I will always speak the truth, I will never hold back."