Brother of Chinese blind activist Chen Guangcheng missing in Beijing

Brother of Chinese blind activist Chen Guangcheng missing in Beijing

Beijing : China | May 26, 2012 at 9:50 AM PDT
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Chen Guangcheng Leaves Beijing US Embassy after China Threats to Family

UPDATE: 5-26-12 10:30 AM PST

According to CNN report Guangcheng's brother Guangfu is back in his province. The brother of Chinese human rights activist Chen Guangcheng said he's worried about his incarcerated son and has met with attorneys in Beijing to get legal advice for him.

Chen Guangfu told CNN Saturday that he's back home in Shandong province village of Dongshigu after meeting with Beijing lawyers in the case of his son Chen Kegui. The son was arrested and accused of murder this month shortly after his activist-uncle, Chen Guangcheng, escaped from their village.

Chen Guangcheng’s brother Chen Guangfu is the eldest brother of the blind activist who sought refuge in the U.S. Embassy in China sparking conflict between the U.S. and China in April. Guangcheng’ s brother Chen Guangfu has disappeared amid fears of reprisal against family members.

A controversy was sparked last month when Chen Guangcheng sought refuge in the U.S. Embassy in China. After six days in the Embassy, the Chinese activist was allowed to come to the U.S. to study. Repercussions against family members have begun with the sudden disappearance of Guangfu.

Reports say Guangfu left his home in Shandong province and arrived in Beijing on Wednesday seeking legal help for his son who is being held on a murder charge, which is being called a rallying point for rights activists challenging the government practices of suppression, discrimination and lack of due process.

His son, Chen Kegui, 32, was charged with "intentional homicide" for using knives to fend off local officials who burst into his home on April 27, the day after they discovered his blind uncle had escaped.

He could face the death penalty. His lawyers, denied access to him last week, said he did not kill anyone.

There are multiple problems with the Chinese government in the area of human rights, and the country is monitored by international human rights organizations including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Various controversial human rights issues in China include policies such as capital punishment, the one child policy, the political status of Tibet, and lack of protections regarding freedom of press and religion.

One of the foremost areas of concern is a lack of legal rights of an independent judiciary, rule of law, and due process. Labor rights are one of the most prominent in the absence of independent labor unions, discrimination against rural workers and ethnic minorities. Rural workers emigrate to the cities to work leaving their families in the provinces and suffer discrimination and poor working conditions.

A list of those being held in China for labor rights activism was compiled in 2010. View the list here. The list includes those who have been detained and sentenced for their alleged involvement in labor unrest or labor organizing. It is not exhaustive. It does not include those many workers who may have been detained for a short period following a strike or labor unrest and then released without charge or trial; neither does it include those activists who are now released or presumed released except those released recently or those whose whereabouts is unknown.

Reprisals against Chen Guangcheng’s family in the wake of his seeking asylum in the U.S. are being watched by the international community. Michael Posner, U.S. assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor, said on Thursday the United States was closely monitoring Chen's family in China.

Chen Guangcheng urged authorities in Beijing on Thursday to prosecute "lawless" officials who harassed and abused the self-taught lawyer, his family and supporters, saying such prosecutions could help China establish rule of law.

Chen Guangfu did not return to his hotel room in Beijing on Friday night, Shandong-based lawyer Liu Weiguo told Reuters.

Zhao Wei, a Shandong supporter of Chen Guangcheng's family, was the last person to have contact with Chen Guangfu before they parted ways on Friday afternoon, Liu said.

"As of now, there's still no news on Brother Guangfu," Liu said. "We're not optimistic. Guangcheng is also very worried. He's contacting friends to look (for him)."

Chen Guangfu said he was restricted from leaving his village and that police in Shandong warned him they would increase the sentence for his son, Chen Kegui, if he gave interviews.


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Chen Guangcheng
Blind activist Chen Guangcheng's brother has disappeared in Beijing. Guangcheng is currently in the U.S. after seeking asylum in the American Embassy in China.
Dava Castillo is based in Clearlake, California, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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