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Don’t forget Kegui!

July 23, 2012

While Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng enjoys his new-found freedom in New York, his nephew  Chen Kegui is languishing in a Chinese prison.

After finally arriving in the US, the blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng has accused authorities in China of retaliating against his family.
According to the Guardian, he has described a savage attack on his brother Chen Guangfu and his nephew Chen Kegui by local officials wielding axe handles. The two were allegedly brutally beaten, and Chen Kegui, who tried to defend himself with a kitchen knife, is now in prison accused of attempted murder.
In an open letter on the web site of Human Rights First, Chen Guangcheng writes of his nephew:
No family member has been able to reach him. He’s likely been tortured, and if convicted, he could face the death penalty. Authorities are forcing him to accept government-controlled lawyers—denying him the independent lawyers we’ve tried to retain.
Right now, US officials are engaged in a human rights dialogue with China. Please join Chen Guangcheng and Human Rights First in calling on US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to urge Chinese authorities to allow Kegui to:
  • Contact family members
  • To be represented by the lawyers of his choice

UPDATE: According to Human Rights first, Michael Posner, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, has affirmed that the State Department has urged and will continue to urge the Chinese government to stop persecuting Kegui. Despite these good efforts, however, the Chinese government continues to detain Kegui and to deny him access to his family and lawyers.

Until China stops holding Kegui hostage, the U.S. government must continue to press his case in all of its dealings with China.

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