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Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD)
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Promoting human rights and empowering grassroots activism in China
Human rights defender beaten in prison
(Chinese Human Rights Defenders, June 20, 2007) – Imprisoned human rights defender Chen Guangcheng （陈光诚）reports that he has been beaten in jail by fellow inmates at the instigation of prison guards. On June 19, Ms. Yuan Weijing （袁伟静）, wife of Chen Guangcheng, visited Chen at the Linyi City Prison (临沂监狱) in Shandong Province. Mr. Chen told his wife that he had been beaten by six other prisoners, who had been instigated to do so by prison guards. On June 16, Chen said, the six inmates hit and kicked him hard. The beating came after Mr. Chen had refused to have his head shaved. Ms. Yuan saw wounds on Mr. Chen’s legs during her prison visit. Mr. Chen told his wife that he had pains in his ribs and he feared that he might have a broken rib. Since the beating, Mr. Chen has been staging a hunger strike to protest against the ill-treatment. As of June 19, he had not taken any water or food for 72 hours. Ms. Yuan protested to the prison guards about the mistreatment and demanded that the prison immediately arrange for Mr. Chen to be sent to a hospital for a check up, including an x-ray of his ribs.
Mr. Chen said he was punished for “being disobedient” due to his insistence on filing an appeal to the provincial higher court for a review of the verdict in his case. Since Mr. Chen has been blind since infancy, he requires the assistance of his lawyer or his wife to write down what he would dictate. He does not trust the prison guards to write up the appeal for him. But the prison have not permitted the lawyers and his wife visits longer than the normal half-an-hour long, which makes it impossible to prepare an appeal for Mr. Chen. In August 2006, he was sentenced to four years and three months in prison for “gathering crowds to obstruct traffic.”
Chinese Human Rights Defenders strongly protests against the ill-treatment of Chen Guangcheng by prison guards. The Chinese government must abide by its international treaty obligations under the Convention against Torture and its agreement to protect human rights defenders under the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.
Chinese Human Rights Defenders demands that:
• The Prison Management Bureau under the Shandong Provincial Department of Judicial Affairs (山东省司法局下属监狱管理局) should immediately initiate an investigation into the beating of Chen Guangcheng at Linyi Prison on June 16, and bring those prison guards who instigated the beating to justice.
• The Linyi Prison must arrange for Mr. Chen to get immediate medical attention.
• The Linyi Prison authorities must guarantee Mr. Chen’s personal safety in the future.
• Prison authorities must arrange for Mr. Chen to file his appeal to the Shandong Higher Provincial Court (山东省高级法院). Chen Guangcheng is imprisoned for his activities to defend the human rights of fellow villagers. CHRD believes that Mr. Chen is not guilty as charged and should be released immediately and unconditionally.
Chinese Human Rights Defenders
June 20, 2007
For more information about the case of Chen Guangcheng, please see CHRD report “China vs. a Blind Human Rights Defender: A Report on the Case of Imprisoned Chen Guangcheng”, published on February 20, 2007, at: