Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

After Escape to Beijing, Activist's Brother Is Home

Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

After Escape to Beijing, Activist's Brother Is Home

Article excerpt

Chen Guangfu, the older brother of the Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng, is back in the family's village after evading guards there to meet with a lawyer in Beijing.

The older brother of Chen Guangcheng, the rights advocate who left China for the United States this month, is back in the family's home village after evading guards there to travel to Beijing to meet with a lawyer, said a U.S. legal scholar who is advising Mr. Chen.

The scholar, Jerome A. Cohen, a law professor at New York University, wrote in an e-mail that the brother, Chen Guangfu, was back home Saturday night and "unguarded but under great pressure."

Like his younger brother, Chen Guangfu lives in the village of Dongshigu, in Shandong Province, a place infamous for the guards and thugs assigned by local officials to keep Chen Guangcheng and his family under house arrest and to bar outsiders from seeing them. After Mr. Chen made a daring nighttime escape last month, the police detained his older brother and his nephew, Chen Kegui, who was charged with "intentional homicide" after he slashed local officials with a kitchen knife, seriously wounding at least one. The officials had broken into the home of his father following Chen Guangcheng's escape.

Chen Guangfu had left the village in the middle of the night last week to travel to Beijing and meet with a lawyer, Ding Xikui, who had agreed to advocate on behalf of Chen Guangfu's son. Family members insist the son was acting in self-defense since he did not know the men breaking into his father's home were officials. The son's wife, Liu Fang, sent a letter to the local authorities late last week demanding that her husband be allowed to meet with lawyers.

It is unclear whether Chen Guangfu had been forced to return to Dongshigu by security officers or went back on his own. Local officials in China often send police officers to Beijing to retrieve discontented citizens who travel to the Chinese capital to try to make their grievances known to officials. …

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