For Immediate Release
AIUSA media office, 202-544-0200 x302
Amnesty International Calls on Chinese Authorities to End Harassment, Beating of Human Rights Activist's Wife
Activist Couples' Children Prevented from Registering for School
WASHINGTON - Amnesty International calls
on the Shangdong authorities to stop the continuing harassment of Yuan
Weijing, the wife of imprisoned legal activist Chen Guangcheng, who has
been under virtual house arrest since 2005.
Yuan Weijing was forcibly returned to her
home by nine men as she was leaving to visit her grieving family following
the death of her brother in law, Luo Kengren. She was punched and kicked
by the men while being dragged back to her house.
"The continued virtual house arrest of Yuan
Weijing is illegal. While national authorities are touting the new National
Human Rights Action Plan, we see local authorities flagrantly violating
the law in this case," said Roseann Rife, Amnesty International's deputy
program director for Asia and the Pacific.
"Beating up the wife of a human rights activist
as she attempts to reach her grieving family deserves wide condemnation."
Yuan Weijing's husband, legal activist Chen
Guangcheng, 38, was sentenced to four-years-and-three-months' imprisonment
for "intentionally damaging property" and "gathering a crowd to block
traffic." Chen Guangcheng had been campaigning on the alleged forced abortions
and sterilizations in pursuit of birth quotas that affected thousands of
local women. Human rights activists believe this was the real reason why
he was put under house arrest alongside his wife in 2005 and imprisoned
Yuan Weijing has never been charged or tried
for a criminal offense. She has experienced several violent encounters
with local authorities over the years, as they have prevented her from
meeting journalists and lawyers. The couple's children have been prevented
from registering at school.
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning
grassroots activist organization with more than 2.2 million supporters,
activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human
rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates
and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice,
freedom, truth and dignity are denied.
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