By Ariel Lin
Impunity Watch Reporter, Asia
BEIJING, China – Nine men attacked Ms. Yuan Weijing, the wife of imprisoned blind activist Chen Guangcheng, as she was leaving to visit her family. They punched and kicked her as they forced her back to her house. The men are thought to be hired by local officials.
Yuan Weijing has been under house arrest for the past three years and seven months. Her husband, Chen Guangcheng, a self-taught blind attorney, had been involved in investigation of forced abortions and sterilizations cases in China. He was arrested in June 2006 on charges of “destruction of property” and “assembling a crowd to disrupt traffic”. The Chinese court sentenced him in prison to four years and three months.
According to Yuan, she has experienced constant harassment by local authorities. During the past three years and seven months, local authorities hired over 30 people to watch her, even when she was farming in the field. Not only they have prevented her from meeting journalists and lawyers, she was also prohibited from international traveling. In 2007, the local government prevented her from travel to the Philippines to accept the Magsaysay award on behalf of her husband. The couple’s children are not permitted to enroll at school.
According to Yuan, she has been able to visit her husband only one time on December 31, 2008 since Chen’s imprisonment. She says that Chen has had diarrhea since July 2008, but received no treatment.
Amnesty International called to stop the continuing harassment and attacks on Yang Weijing. Roseann Rife, the deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Asia Pacific Programme, says that
“The continued virtual house arrest of Yuan Weijing is illegal. While national authorities are touting the new National Human Rights Action Plan, we see local authorities flagrantly violating the law in this case.”
For more information, please see:
Amnesty International – Wife of Chinese human rights activist beaten – 21 April 2009
Epoch Times – Blind Chinese Activist’s Wife Under House Arrest For Over Three Years – 21 April 2009
Time – Chen Guangcheng – 30 April 2006
Human Rights Watch – Chronology of Chen Guangcheng’s Case – 18 July 2006