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This post was edited by 29042012 at 2012-5-25 01:51|
Chen Guangcheng's brother has fled house arrest, too
Beijing (CNN) -- The brother of Chinese h uman r ights a ctivist Chen Guangcheng has fled his village in eastern China to Beijing to seek legal advice, his lawyer said Thursday.
Chen's arrival in the U.S. last week brought an end to a diplomatic firestorm between Beijing and Washington that erupted after he escaped from house arrest in S h andong province and took to Y ouT ube to air the abuses he said his family suffered at the hands of authorities.
Chen and his wife and children have traveled to the U.S. for Chen to study at New York University, but a ctivists remain concerned that extended family such as his brother and nephew remain vulnerable to further c rackdowns.
His brother, C hen G uangfu, met with lawyer D i n g X i k u i on Thursday morning to discuss the case of his son, C hen
K egui, D ing said in a phone interview with CNN.
C hen Kegui was a rrested and accused of murder shortly after his uncle, activist Chen Guangcheng, escaped from their village of D ongs higu in S h andong province.
C hen G uangfu said earlier that his son surrendered to police and was formally arrested on May 9. But the family hasn't been allowed to see C hen K egui in c ustody, and authorities have maintained heavy s ecurity around the family's village.
Ding said he doesn't know when C hen G uangfu fled the village, when he arrived in Beijing or how long he will stay, but C hen
G uangfu told him during his visit Thursday that he escaped in the middle of the night.
D ing said C hen K egui's wife had authorized him and another l awyer to defend C hen K egui's case but was told by local officials that government lawyers had been appointed to represent him.
"We talked this morning," Ding said. "He wanted to chat about his son's case and to make sure we were still representing his case."
D ing said there are no immediate plans to visit D ongs higu village in S handong. The village has been heavily guarded since
C hen G uangcheng's escape last month, according to another l awyer, J i a n g T i a n y o n g , who spoke to C hen
G uangfu briefly on the phone Thursday.
"He said the village is more guarded now, but did not get to mention if there were more p olice or thugs before the phone was cut off," Jiang said.
When asked over the phone if he heard about C hen G uangfu's escape, an official at the Linyi P ublic S ecurity Bureau in Shandong, who refused to give his name, said, "We haven't heard of the news. We wouldn't have any information about
C hen G uangcheng."
Calls to the L i n y i S h a n g h o u p olice station went unanswered.
C hen G uangcheng was sentenced in 2 0 0 6 to four years and three months in p rison for "damaging property and organizing a mob to disturb traffic," charges that his supporters say were trumped up by authorities to punish his legal advocacy for victims of what he called abusive family planning policies, including forced abortions and sterilization.
The self-taught legal activist was then held under constant lockdown in his village.
In an April video after his escape, Chen addressed the Chinese premier, W e n J i a b a o , detailing alleged abuses during the family's 18 months of heavily guarded home detention.