China: 'Calling for a full investigation'
|Publisher||Radio Free Asia|
|Publication Date||27 April 2012|
|Cite as||Radio Free Asia, China: 'Calling for a full investigation', 27 April 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4faa706bc.html [accessed 18 May 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Blind activist Chen Guangcheng describes the oppression he and his family faced while under house arrest.
In a screen grab from YouTube, Chen Guangcheng speaks from an undisclosed location after his escape from house arrest. YouTube
Excerpts from a Chen's videotaped message to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao:
There were never less than 20 people watching my door at any given time. At the times when more people were on guard, they hired several hundred people. Several hundred people.... There was a group inside my home, a group outside my home, and people posted to watch the roads in all four directions around my home. Further away, there were people watching all of the streets in a radius around my home.
They were in all directions between my home and the turn from the main highway into the village. Outside the village, on a bridge, there were a number of people watching, accompanied by village officials. There was also a group of people who were hired to drive around on constant patrols in a radius of five kilometers (three miles). They numbered all of the roads that approach the village – for example, Road No. 28 – and used this system to hand out assignments when people began their shifts.
As far as I can tell, given that I can't see, there were around 90-100 police, Party and government officials [assigned to me].
We are calling on the government to begin a full investigation into this long-term oppression that they meted out to us. My mother, my wife, and my children are still there, suffering this oppression, and I am afraid that they will be subjected to insane revenge attacks....
When they beat up my wife, they broke her bones. To this day you can feel where the bones are sticking out. Then, being utterly without humanity, they refused her access to medical treatment....
On my birthday [when activists tried to visit me], a township-level Party official grabbed my elderly mother by the arms and pushed her to the ground .... She banged her head on the door.
Then there is my child, only a few years old. Three people accompany her to school every day ... and when they bring her back home again, they shut her up at home and she's not allowed outside ... Since February last year, they stopped my mother from going out to buy food, so that we could eat. I was very worried ... about our safety, which is why I started to call on people outside to pay attention to what was happening to us.
Why was this situation allowed to continue for so long without any resolution, you may ask. The officials, who both make policy and implement it, didn't want it resolved, because they were afraid that their criminal actions would be exposed.
When they were 'struggling' me last August, Cultural Revolution style, they actually told me that they had been allocated 30 million yuan (U.S. $4.74 million) to deal with me, and that actually was at 2008 values – that actually it was probably far more than that, and that the figure did not even include the bribes paid to officials in Beijing.
They paid the people who watched me 100 yuan (U.S. $16) a day, or rather I heard that they would say it was 100 yuan a day and then actually only pay them 90 yuan (U.S. $14) a day, so that they would get commission. The average pay for laboring jobs there is only 50-60 yuan (U.S. $8-9.50) a day, and there isn't really much hard work involved, and they get fed, so of course they want to do the job ... While our family was under house arrest, they took over all of our land and grew vegetables on it, and then they sold the vegetables and took the profit.
Translated by Luisetta Mudie.