Chinese Human Rights Lawyer Chen Guangcheng and Wife
Letter: Chinese Human Rights Lawyer Chen Guangcheng and Wife Beaten
Lawyer’s wife writes describing ordeal and asking for help
A letter sent by the wife of blind human rights lawyer Chen Guangcheng to a
friend describes prolonged beatings she and Chen endured and harassment the
entire family has suffered at the hands of local officials.
worldwide prominence by working to expose and end the forced abortions and
sterilizations caused by the Chinese regime’s one-child policy. That work was
rewarded by the authorities with 51 months in
prison, where Chen is said to have suffered repeated torture. He was
released on Sept. 9, 2010 but then placed under house arrest.
describes how on Feb. 18 a large gang under the command of a local Chinese
Communist Party (CCP) official burst into Chen’s home. He and his wife, Yuan
Weijing, were beaten and tortured by groups of men for two hours. When the gang
left, their personal property was stolen. Since the beatings, they have been
denied medical treatment, save for one injection given to Yuan.
subsequent invasions of the Chen home, CCP officials stole more
property—including the young daughter’s toys and the cane the blind Chen uses to
walk, covered the windows with metal, and
destroyed their TV antenna. Chen’s mother, who works as a farmer, is now
shadowed by three security agents wherever she goes.
Yuan’s letter closes
with concerns for Chen’s health, which is deteriorating, and with hope that
friends can take legal action on their behalf.
The abuses related in the letter are apparently reprisals for a video Chen made documenting the conditions of the
house arrest he and his family had endured since his release from prison. That
video was passed to the advocacy group ChinaAid by a sympathetic local official
and published on ChinaAid’s
website on Feb. 9.
Bob Fu, president of ChinaAid, is quoted on its
website as saying the hour-long video shows Chen was “living in miserable
conditions, cut off from all outside contact, and detained illegally in his
Yuan’s letter was published on ChinaAid’s website on June
Here is Yuan Weijing’s letter in
On the afternoon of Feb. 18, 2011, 70-80 people
broke through our front door led by Yinan Zhang, the deputy secretary of the
Shuanghou Township, under the auspices of the Yinan National Security.
My husband Chen Guangcheng and me were once again viciously beaten and
subjected to more than 2 hours of savage torture. Without any legal formalities
our house was looted by dozens of people not in uniform. My husband and I were
seriously injured, and not even allowed to seek medical treatment.
dozen men wrapped me up with a quilt, and started viciously kicking at my ribs
and stamping on me for more than half an hour. Eventually, I struggled and
managed to get my head out of the quilt, I saw Guangcheng was surrounded by a
dozen or more people. Some forcefully twisted his arms back, while others
forcibly pressing his head down, and grabbing him by the collar to lift him up.
Having been weakened by
protracted diarrhea, Guangcheng was unable to offer any resistance. This went on
for more than two hours until he passed out.
My left eye socket and left
ribs feel like they are fractured. My left eye is blackened and swollen, I
cannot see for almost a week, and the white of the eye is bloodshot. So far, I
still cannot straighten up my back, and it is still painful to breath.
While we were being tortured, the dozens of other people who broke into
the house were searching and combing through my house using a variety of
detectors. They took away our computers, cameras,video recorders, video tapes,
various electric chargers, flashlights, and so on.
They were not
uniformed and had no search warrant. When they were searching and looting, they
did not speak a word, and there was no seizure authorization document. Before
they left, Zhang said, this is the order from above, you should know. Then they
threw us on the floor.
The beating left us in so much pain that we could
not even roll over when lying on bed. Even so, Guangcheng did not receive any
treatment. For myself, I was only allowed to have one intravenous injection by
the village doctor on February 19. After
that, I could not receive any treatment either.
On March 3, they sealed
our windows completely with iron sheet; on March 6, they shut down our
electricity supply; on the evening of March 7, the guard sneaked into my house
at midnight and destroyed our TV antenna. The electricity was restored on March
8 in early morning.
On March 8, Zhang Jian led a group of over 40 people
to break into our residence again. They snatched our computer, hand-written
materials, DVD, several remote controls, and all the materials related to
Guangcheng’s lawsuit accumulated in these several years.
When I demanded
an explanation for their outright robbery, Zhang Jian beat me on my head with
On March 17, Zhang Jian came again with a group of over 40
people. His colleagues brought with them dozens of huge woven bags. They stuffed
everything they thought to be worth taking into the woven bags, including all
our books, the paper-cut flowers my daughter made that were pasted onto the
wall, calendars, Guangcheng’s walking cane,
all the papers, used patch boards, antenna, electric wires, etc.
March 22, they installed two surveillance cameras, one at the gate and the other
at the southwestern corner, which could capture all our activities inside our
My daughter has been forbidden to go out since Feb. 24. She has
to stay at home all day, just like us. Her books and some toys were taken away
as well. The child said: “I am so pitiful. All my belongings are robbed.”
Guangcheng’s mother is being monitored by three personal “cangues” [A
“cangue" is literally a device that fits around the victim’s head and is used
for humiliation and corporal punishment, similar to the pillory in the West,
except that it is not permanently fixed to a base.] Even when she is doing farm
work in the field, the personal cangues will follow her footsteps to keep close
Starting from mid-March, my mother-in-law was not allowed to go
out, even for grocery shopping. It was therefore very difficult for us to
sustain basic living. In addition, Guangcheng’s health is deteriorating daily.
In the past, he had fresh blood in his stools when he had diarrhea; now the
blood in his stools is black and dark. All these things make me very worried.
When you receive this letter, please try to inform our friends Teng
Biao, Zhai Minglei, Jiang Tianyong and Zhang Yongpan. The authorities are
committing crimes against us, restricting our personal freedom and breaking into
our residence to commit robbery and mayhem.
I hope these friends of our family will take legal
action or other necessary moves as soon as possible. As a matter of fact, the
authorities had told my mother-in-law twice that we would be transferred to a
vacant courtyard at the front of the village.
Thanks a million,
Read the original Chinese