Blind human rights activist Chen Guangcheng has managed to escape from house arrest while his guards were not watching, and appeared immediately afterwards on Youtube, delivering a message to Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, with the following three demands:
1. Premier Wen should, in accordance with the law, investigate and punish those who are held accountable for the violence against his family.
2. The security of his family should be ensured in case of revenge by local authorities; and
3. Corruption involved in his detention should be addressed.
Chen Guangcheng, known by some as the “barefoot lawyer”, is one of China’s most prominent human rights activists. He became blind when young due to illness but taught himself to be a lawyer and has been providing legal help to disabled people, petitioners and others.
From 1996 to 1998, he petitioned the central government, forcing his hometown Dongshigu Village to abolish illegal taxation on disabled people and other villagers. He also sued Beijing Metro, demanding for equal rights for visually-impaired locals and non-locals in Beijing to have free subway travel in 2003 and achieved success.
Since 2005, he has been campaigning against local birth control agencies on human rights violations including forced abortions, forced sterilizations, beatings and fines. He was sentenced to four years and three months in prison from 2006 to 2010 by the local court for “deliberate destruction of property and disrupting traffic.” He has been under house arrest together with his family since release.
Dear Premier Wen:
It was so hard for me to escape. All those rumors online and the accusations against Lin Yi’s violence on me, now I am here to prove that everything was true. And the fact can be only more terrible than what’s circulating online.
Premier Wen, I now formally make the following 3 proposals
1. SEVERELY PUNISH CRIMINALS IN ACCORDANCE WITH LAW:
Firstly, on my issue, you should inquire the matter yourself and dispatch investigative groups for thorough investigation and truth. Some 70 to 80 officials, none of whom were wearing uniforms, beat my family without any legal approvals and forbid my family from seeking medical assistance despite injuries.
You should initiate a thorough investigation on who issued the order and deal with it according to law to law since it was so inhumane and tainted our Party’s image. They invaded our home. More than a dozen men covered my wife’s face with quilt and beat her for several hours. To me, they did the same.
Zhang Jian… we know a lot of people from in the county police, He Yong, Zhang Shengdong, like Li Xianli, who beat my wife serveral times, Li Xianqiang, Gao Xinjian and a man surnamed Xue should be taken seriously. As the one who experienced this, I make the following accusations on these people:
They intruded my house and beat me. During that period, for example, Zhang Jian, the deputy county party chief in charge of law enforcement, boasted that they could defy the law and regulations and could do anything without legal procedures.
They robbed my house and beat my family multiple times. Li Xianli, leading some 20 men, imposed illegal dention on me for a long time. He was the leader of the 1st team [which was in charge of my detention], and beat my wife. Once he chased my wife, pulled her off the cart and beat her. He also beat my mother. He was extremely vicious.
Li Xianqiang, he knocked my wife down to the ground on 18th last year. He is said to be the a clerck or chief of our county’s judicial office. He hurt my wife’s left arm severly.
At the gate of my village, the one who beat Bale, in my knowlege was Zhang Shenhe, a government clerk, or the “army uniform” called by netizens. He hurled stones to CNN last Feburary. I am sure with no mistake.
I have also learnt some netizens were beaten by female guards. I did not know any female guard was hired. I now know that most of these female mobs are directors of womens’ offices of different villages, and some were village chiefs’relatives.
Gao Xinjian and other unknown people, whom I know were from the police, although they didn’t wear any uniforms or have any legal procedures, dared to say “We are not police now, and we are assigned by and work for the Party.”
I don’t believe so. They at most worked for an illegal official within the Party.
According to various information sources, besides 8 officials from township or the village in every team, each team also hire some 20 people at least. There are 3 teams and there are in total 70-80 people.
When last year netizens were paying attention to me, they hired hundres of people at peak. They totally blocked our village. Generally, they regarded our house as centre. Then they deployed a team in our house, and another outside our house. The team outside were deployed on the four corners of my house and nearby roads. Then, they deployed people in all roads from my house until the village border, and in some even situations, they deployed people in the near-by village.
On the bridge of a nearby village, there were 7-8 people sitting. Then these illegal officials abused their power and ordered nearby villages’ officials to join them. They also hired cars to patrol, reaching as far as 5 kilometers out of my village or even more.
They deployed 7-8 layers of tight guard like this and numbered every road into the village. They numbered as many as 28 so they could better allocate their duties. Such was done to the whole village.
They deployed guards everywhere and regarded anyone as their enemy.
To my knowledge, around 90 to 100 county police, armed police and government officials from the county and township joined the crackdown against me. They have persecuted me illegall this way for several times, and I demand a thorough investigation on him.
2 SAFEGUARD FAMILY MEMBERS’S SAFETY ACCORDING TO LAW
Although I am free, my worries come as well. Because my family, mother, wife and son are still under their hands. They have been persecuted for long and may be suffering even more due to authorities’ revenge, which may be even more outrageous.
My wife’s orbital bone was also broken, you could feel it. Her waist was beaten at home, with her faces covered by a quilt. Now, you could stil feel obvious protuberance on her 5th lumbar vertebra and her sacrum. Her 10, 12th ribs also had feelable protuberance. Maybe there was a misdiagnose as well. And after the injury, she was inhumanely forbidden to seek medical help.
My old mother was seized by the arm and pushed to the ground by a party member on her birthday. Her faces faced the sky, and her head struck the door of the east room. She burst into tears. She accused that the beaters could beat her simply because they were young. They shamelessly replied, “we are young and we could beat you, but you simply couldn’t defeat us!”
How shameless, how inhumane, and how sinful!
Also my son who is still under 10 years old. He was followed by 3 every day and searched through all over with every page of his book checked. He was forbidden to move at school and, when he returned home, he was confined to the house and never allowed to step out of the gate.
My whole family’s situation has been cut off electricty since last year’s Jul 29, and it was not restored until December 14. Since last February, my mother has been forbidden from buyinig vegetables outside, making my family in extreme difficulty.
I am extremely anxious, and I require netizens’ more attention on my family’s security. I also require Chinese government to ensure my family’s safety for the sake of the dignity of law and people’s benefits. Otherwise, their safety has no guarantee. If there is anything wrong with my family, I will keep on fighting.
3 PUNISH CORRUPTION ACCORDING TO LAW
Some may ask why this matter cannot be resolved even though it has lasted for several years? Now, I tell you, local decision makers or executive officials never want to resolve this issue.
Decision makers are afraid their crime to be exposed so they don’t want it to be resolved. To executive officials, there is a lot of corruption.
When they were persecuting me last August in a Cultural Revolution style, they said, “you say in the video that we spent over 30 millions? Don’t you know that it was the number in 2008, and now we had spent even more than two 30 millions? You know that? And we don’t include the money used to briber officials in Beijing. If you are capable, keep on saying. ”
Some others say, “What tiny amount of money we have! The largest parts have been taken by others already!”
It is a good chance for them to make a wealth. As for as I am concerned, the village spent 100 per person for teams to hire people. However, team leaders hire each person 90 yuan per day and keep the rest 10 to himself.
The daily wage in my place is only around 50 to 60 yuan and working here does not require much labor and is paid better with all three meals free. So men that are hired are very willing to work.
Each team leader hires some 20 people, and they can earn more than 200 a day. What a corruption.
Also, I learnt that in my dention, those who are with my wife plant vegetables in my family’s land and they eat their own vegetables. They grow and sell their vegetables and earn profits. People all know it, but nothing has been done with them.
I learnt that “stability maintainance fund” could be allocated in millions at one time from the county level to the village and township, and officials say they didn’t get much and that the largest share has been taken by others.
So, clearly, there is serious corruption and abuse of money and power.
I want Premiere Wen to start investigation and punishment. We taxpayers’money shall not be used to abuse others and ruin the image of our Party.
When they are all doing such things that cannot be known by others, everything is in the name of the Party.
Premier Wen, all these illegal activities could not be understood by many. They don’t know whether it is the abusive behavior of local officials or directed by the cetral government.
I think you should give a clear answer to people soon. If we conduct a thorough investigation and tell the truth to the public, the benefits are obvious. But if you continue to neglect this, then what will people think?