Tortured and cut off from medical or legal help, Chen Guangcheng is at the mercy of brutal officials of the Chinese Government
We have been keeping you informed about Chen Guangcheng and the persecution that he has endured for several years. You know that he was a brilliant and virtually self-taught lawyer who made his way into China’s legal system despite being blind. You know that he advocated on behalf of the thousands and thousands of women who have endured forced abortions and sterilizations under China’s one-child policy. You know that for challenging the corrupt and inhumane system in Communist China, Chen was jailed, tortured and denied medical care. You remember how we celebrated when Chen was transferred from prison and placed under house arrest, and we hoped for a time that the Chinese government would grant him full liberty.
However, the Chinese government has put Chen Guangcheng under such severe restrictions that his current imprisonment is no less devastating despite being inside his own home. His house has been literally surrounded by guards who refuse to let Chen or his wife leave to buy food. The guards have entered the house on numerous occasions, stealing records and electronic devices such as computer equipment and cameras. In one of the last such “visits” they even took the toys of Chen’s five year old daughter, leaving her with nothing.
February 18, 2011, led by the vice secretary of the Communist Party of Shuanghou Town, Zhang Jian and some National Security Policemen, a group of 70-80 guys stormed through my home gate. They beat and tortured my husband Chen Guangcheng and me for more than 2 hours.
More than 10 men covered me totally with a blanket and kicked my ribs and all over my body. After half an hour’s non-stop torture, I finally squeezed my head out of the blanket. I saw more than 10 men surrounded Chen Guangcheng, torturing him. Some of them twisted his arms forcefully while the others pushing his head down and lifting his collar up tightly. Given his poor health condition of long-time diarrhea, Guangchen was not able to resist and passed out after more than two hours of torture. My left eyebrow bone and one of my bottom left ribs might be broken. My left eye lost vision for 5-6 days because of the bruise, blood in the white of my eye, and swollenness. Even today, I still can not stand with my body straight and I suffer pain when breathing.
President Hu Jintao
I am writing this letter to you to to make you aware of the shameful conduct of some of your government’s officials in the matter of Chen Guangcheng. Chen Guangcheng is a self-taught lawyer and a credit to your government’s growing legal system. The work of lawyers and judges independently working for justice is crucial in maintaining any rule of law, and rule of law is essential for political stability.
Chen Guangcheng has always worked for just this end, using the peaceful forms of the legal system to address the abuses of government officials who have overstepped their authority and violated international and Chinese domestic law. It was just such an abuse that Chen Guangcheng confronted in the forced sterilizations being done in the city of Linyi, China.
For this courageous act Chen Guangcheng has been imprisoned and tortured in violation of Chinese law. While in prison he was denied medical treatment, and since his transfer to house arrest he has even been denied food. Government officials have entered his house on numerous occasions and taken items of personal and fiscal value. They have even on at least one occasion tortured him in front of his family, and beaten his wife severely. These violations of Chen Guangcheng’s basic human rights are incompatible with your government’s public statements.
I, along with many others urge you to take action on this case. Take action against the officials who are violating Chinese law, as well as international conventions. Restore Chen Guangcheng’s liberty and allow him to continue his valuable work in the legal system. Realize that if you do not act then you will permit these lower officials to set to policy of the Chinese government. If this state of affairs continues, Chen Guangcheng may very well die as a direct result of the actions of these officials. But because they are acting under the aegis of their government responsibilities their actions implicate the whole Chinese government and you yourself. For these reasons I urge you to take action in this matter.
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