Chen Guangcheng and Visiting Lawyers Beaten in Chen's Home Village in Shandong Province

February 25, 2006

Local officials beat blind legal activist Chen Guangcheng and unidentified assailants also attacked a group of lawyers visiting him October 4 in Chen's home village in Shandong province, according to an October 5 report by Radio Free Asia. Lawyers Xu Zhiyong, Li Subin, and Li Fangping travelled to Chen's home village of Dongshigu to speak with him on October 4. Officials have held Chen under house arrest since September 6 for publicizing abuses by local population planning officials. Boxun reported (in Chinese) that the lawyers reached Dongshigu on October 4, but local officials prevented them from entering the village. Officials beat Chen as he attempted to leave his home and make his way to the vilage entrance, where he spoke briefly with Xu Zhiyong and Li Fangping before a county official and justice bureau official took the lawyers away for "a chat."

When their meeting with the officials concluded, Xu and Li attempted to return to Dongshigu, but a group of unidentified men attacked and beat them. Officials then brought the lawyers to the local police station for interrogation and released them on October 5, according to another Boxun (Chinese) report. The South China Morning Post (subscription) reported on October 6 that local public security officials had escorted the lawyers back to Beijing.