The family of blind Chinese rights lawyer Chen Guangcheng’s nephew, who is in prison and charged with attempted murder, is concerned over the delay of his court case and has threatened to take legal action against the government.
Chen Guangcheng’s elder brother Chen Guangfu said on Monday that there was still no information from the authorities on the case of his son, Chen Kegui, who had been detained on intentional homicide charges.
Chen Kegui defended himself with a kitchen knife when local government officials broke into his home after his uncle Chen Guangcheng's daring escape from house arrest in April and subsequent move to the U.S., family members said. Several people, including an official, were injured in the attack.
Chen Guangcheng said his nephew, who has been detained for three months so far, was the victim of vengeful officials incensed at the blind activist's escape from arrest at his home in Dongshigu village in the eastern province of Shandong.
“I went to the prosecutor’s office of Linyi city [in Shandong] but they told me that they haven’t received the case report until now,” Chen Guangfu told RFA's Mandarin service.
“That means the case is still under investigation by police. Someone told me that the police investigation can be as long as 20 months,” he added.
According to the Chinese criminal code, a prosecutor’s office will review a case report compiled by police upon completion of investigations before deciding whether to formally prosecute anyone.
“Kegui was beaten brutally while the attackers yelled, ‘Beat him to death!’ Then, he picked up a cooking knife.”
“Otherwise, he might really have been beaten to death,” the father said.
Chen Kegui wounded Zhang Jian, chief of Shuanghou town, and two other attackers and was arrested for “intentional homicide.”
Chen Kegui's case has been shrouded in secrecy since Chen Guangcheng's arrival in the U.S., with many lawyers reporting official harassment after they tried to advise or represent him.
“I have already hired a lawyer and we are preparing to file a suit against the police and the township government over illegal intrusion,” Chen Guangfu said.
Chen Guangfu also said that his family is under tight surveillance, though Chen Guangcheng has already left for the U.S. where he is a visiting legal scholar at the U.S.-Asia Law Institute of New York University.
“The village recently set up a ‘security patrol,’ monitoring all local villagers and visitors who might talk to us.”
“The team will report any outside visitors who come into the village,” he said.
Wang Xuezhen, a U.S.-based Chinese rights activist, who is also from Shandong province, said she had a phone conversion with Chen Guangcheng on Sunday and they discussed Chen Kegui’s case.
“I called Chen Guangcheng and told him that the detention of Chen Kegui is now over the maximum 45 days mandated by Chinese law.”
“Local officials entered Chen Guangfu’s house on April 26 without showing any legal document and, in fact, they scaled the wall to enter. All these actions are illegal,” Wang said.
Reported by Qiao Long for RFA's Mandarin Service. Translated and written in English by Ping Chen.