Chen`s family, friends ``still at risk`` in China

Last Updated: Monday, May 21, 2012 - 15:27

Beijing: Blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng`s supporters have warned that his family and relatives in China are ``still at risk`` after his arrival in the United States.

Chen, who arrived in the US, was also careful in thanking the Chinese Government, knowing the well-being of relatives and associates could be influenced by an upcoming shift in the Communist party leadership.

"Acts of retribution may not have abated" in his village of Dongshigu, which was still under lockdown. "We hope to see a thorough investigation into these events," The Guardian quoted Chen as saying.

He Peirong, who played a key role in Chen`s escape from house arrest, said she sympathised, even though the impact of Chen`s departure remains unclear.

She said: "I support any decision made by Chen, but it`s too early to say whether his departure is a good thing for China`s rights movement. Things are not settled. Problems are not solved. His family is still in China. The people who helped him escape are still in China."

Others supporters, relatives and lawyers, including Guo Yushan and Liu Weiguo, did not answer calls.

Zeng Jinyan, who met Chen before he took refuge at the US Embassy in Beijing, said her computer had been hacked and infected with a virus that made it difficult to communicate.

Chen`s nephew has been arrested and charged with attempted murder after he used a kitchen knife to fight local officials who intruded into his home.

Chen`s brother has described how he was chained to a chair and beaten for three days. He said that the police continued to impose tight restrictions on rights activists and he expected the pressure to intensify.

A supporter in Shandong said that the authorities were unlikely to ease pressure any time soon.

ANI



First Published: Monday, May 21, 2012 - 15:08

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