SHANDONG PROVINCE, China, May 1, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – While Chen Guangcheng escaped communist clutches nearly a year ago, Chinese officials are still punishing him for spotlighting the country’s brutal enforcement of its one-child policy through the continual torture and terrorization of his family members remaining behind in China.
News recently broke that two of Chen’s brothers and a sister-in-law have experienced a harassment campaign by security personnel who reportedly threw rocks, bottles, and dead poultry at their house for 12 nights in a row.
Now Chen’s imprisoned nephew Chen Kegui is reportedly being denied adequate medical care by authorities for acute appendicitis.
Classified as a “medical emergency,” appendicitis often results in an agonizing death if the inflamed ruptured appendix is not quickly removed.
While Kegui has reportedly been given antibiotics in an attempt to placate his inflamed and pus-filled appendix, Chinese officials will not grant him the medical parole he needs to have surgery.
Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch, called Kegui being denied treatment “at best incompetence and at worst a twisted effort to torment the Chen family.”
“Failure to provide prisoners access to adequate medical care is cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment that may rise to the level of torture, and violates the right to health and the Standard Minimum Rules on the Treatment of Prisoners,” Human Rights Watch stated in a press release yesterday.
Chen Kegui was imprisoned last year after authorities discovered that Chen Guangcheng had escaped house arrest. As part of their search, authorities stormed the home of Guangcheng’s older brother Chen Guangfu, forcibly dragging him away, and beating his wife and son, Chen Kegui. Fearing for his life, Kegui reportedly wielded a kitchen knife in self defense.
Kegui was subsequently charged with attempted murder despite the Chinese officials not suffering major injuries, according to Chen Guangcheng’s Congressional testimony. Kegui was later convicted of “intentional injury” and sentenced to three years and three months in prison.
Reggie Littlejohn, founder and president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, told LifeSiteNews.com that Chinese officials are not living up to a promise made to Chen Guangcheng to prosecute the people who have tormented his family.
“They are continuing to torment his family,” she said.
“In my opinion, all of this is part of a coordinated campaign by the Chinese Communist Party to silence Chen Guangcheng.”
Chen Guangcheng has been recognized as one of the world’s strongest voices against China’s brutally enforced one-child policy. He gained international recognition for challenging his country on forced abortion, forced sterilization, and gendercide, documenting 130,000 forced sterilizations and abortions in his city of Linyi in Shandong province before his 2005 arrest.
Littlejohn said that Chinese authorities are holding Chen Guangcheng’s nephew hostage in a bid to silence the activist.
“Chen Kegui’s life is hanging in the balance right now. That takes this whole harassment of Chen Guangcheng’s family to a new level, to a level of indecent and inhumane torture,” she said.
Littlejohn said that if Chinese officials are “smart” they will allow Kegui medical parole so that he can receive proper medical treatment.
“If his appendix did rupture and he did die in prison, — and the attention of the world is focused on this — that would reflect very poorly on the Chinese Communist Party. They would lose a lot of face. It could cause domestic unrest, because the people of China are aware of this as well. And what they would do under these circumstances is anyone’s guess.”
In relation to the ongoing harassment of his family, Chen Guangcheng called China a “country of hoodlums, not a country of law.”
“If you have principles, if you do what is right, why are you afraid of people?” he recently told reporters.
“What kind of person does this? Only thieves and the narrow-minded, spreading unchecked. But that’s how the Communist Party is now.”
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