China Aid Association
(Linyi, Shandong–Dec. 11, 2012) Following the sentencing of his son to a 39-month prison term, the brother of blind legal activist Chen Guangcheng has issued a rebuttal of the government’s case against his son, Chen Kegui.
After being held for more than seven months, Chen Kegui was convicted and sentenced on Nov. 30 by the Yinan County People’s Court in Shandong province. He was found guilty of causing “intentional injury” in a brief afternoon trial from which his father, Chen Guangfu, was barred. With credit for time served, Chen Kegui’s sentence will run from April 30, 2012 to July 29, 2015.
The unorthodox handling of the case by the Yinan County police department, prosecutor and court, working hand-in-glove, and the near-secret trial triggered international condemnation. Chen Guangcheng, now living in New York City, expressed great indignation and said the government was exacting revenge for his escape on his nephew.
Three days after the conviction, Chen Guangfu issued a three-page statement refuting the contents of the government’s 16-page verdict. He said that many of the statements attributed to witnesses had been taken out of context or were manufactured, as was Chen Kegui’s statements and the police department’s investigation, assessments and physical evidence.
Chen Kegui’s arrest stems from the miraculous late April of Chen Guangcheng from 18 months of brutal and illegal house arrest. He took refuge in the U.S. Embassy, sparking a minor diplomatic crisis until he and his family won permission to leave China for the United States, where Chen is now pursuing further legal studies in New York City.
When he learned of Chen’s escape, the mayor of Chen’s village, Zhang Jian, who had been responsible for the long-term imprisonment and persecution of Chen and his wife, was enraged and organized a nighttime search party that barged into the home of Chen’s brother, Chen Guangfu. Chen’s Guangfu’s son thought the family was being robbed and grabbed a knife and used it in self-defense, then fled the scene. He later turned himself in.
In his statement, Chen Guangfu describes in detail what happened:
After they had kidnapped me, about 20 minutes later, Zhang Jian led a bunch of unidentified people and barged into my home without any kind of legal procedure being followed and went around at will, opening doors and going through closets, searching my whole house and seizing cash, cellphones, address book and other items. They also started to savagely beat Chen Kegui’s mother and smashed the TV, sewing machine, furniture and the locks on many drawers. One thug who entered Kegui’s room had a wooden club and he got into an all-out brawl with him, fighting from the room to the outside, from inside the house out to the yard, hitting him repeatedly in the face, neck, arms and legs and inflicting multiple injuries. Kegui shouted to his mother for help and she tried to protect him by putting her arms around him, but Kegui said, “Mom, I’m about to be beaten to death and you’re still holding on to me?” Then these totally inhuman thugs grabbed Kegui’s mother’s hair and started to savagely beat her. At this dangerous juncture in which, if he didn’t defend himself, he would be beaten to death, Kegui grabbed a cleaver. But he didn’t immediately use it. Just then, Zhang Jian ordered the many thugs he brought with him to “Grab hold of him!” and the thugs swarmed him. Kegui was left with no alternative but to brandish the knife in self-defense. But at the trial, they are euphemistically saying that the beating, smashing and seizing was “looking for a cellphone.”
ChinaAid founder and president Bob Fu said, “The trial of Chen Kegui was nothing but an act of revenge against Chen Guangcheng through political manipulation. It is lacking in any element of due process. Instead of punishing Chen Kegui for acting in self defense out of fear for his life, those abusive criminal officials should be brought to justice. ”
On Dec. 7, Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, condemned the unjust sentencing of Chen Kegui, saying, “The decision by Chinese authorities to sentence Chen Guangcheng’s nephew, Chen Kegui, to prison for simply defending himself and his family is an affront to the rule of law and due process.
“Chen Kegui was not allowed access to his own legal representation and he was prohibited from contact with his family during the trial, in clear violation on Chinese law. It is deeply disappointing that the Chinese government has not yet fulfilled its promise to Chen Guangcheng to conduct a full investigation into the illegal activities of local officials in the detention and harassment of the Chen family.” Her full statement is here: http://www.democraticleader.gov/Statement_on_Chen_Kegui