Fears of Chinese lawyer, wife being beaten over house arrest video

February 11th, 2011 - 6:11 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Feb 11 (ANI): Human rights campaigners have expressed fears that a Chinese grassroots lawyer and his wife may have been severely beaten up for secretly filming a video documenting their house arrest.

Chen Guangcheng and Yuan Weijing described in a recording, smuggled out of their village and published online, how they and their children were being held at home and watched round the clock since his release from prison five months ago.

The China Human Rights Defenders network said a source revealed that security officials, who learned of the video, attacked the couple on Tuesday.

The source said Guangcheng and Weijing were too badly injured to get out of bed, and in any case would not be allowed to go to hospital.

Guangcheng is one of the country’s best-known activists, a self-taught legal advocate for women, who had forced abortions and sterilisations, and farmers who lost their land.

Rights groups have expressed grave concern for him and his family and the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, raised his case in a speech shortly before the Chinese president Hu Jintao’s visit to the US last month.

“I was in a small prison and now I am in a larger prison,” the Guardian quoted him as saying in the hour-long video, his first direct statement to the outside world since his detention in 2006.

He said three shifts of people monitor the family, with more than 20 agents per shift.

Wearing black sunglasses, Chen, who is blind, urges Chinese people to stand up for their rights and the international community to pay attention to the situation in China.

He says his treatment is illegal under the constitution and that officials who took away his phone have committed robbery.

The American Christian human rights group, China Aid, say they obtained the video from “a reliable government source” who is outraged by Guangcheng’s treatment. (ANI)

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