News / Asia

US Raises Concerns with China about Reported Chen Reprisals

In this image made from video, blind legal activist Chen Guangcheng is seen on a video posted to YouTube Friday, April 27, 2012 by overseas Chinese news site Boxun.com. In this image made from video, blind legal activist Chen Guangcheng is seen on a video posted to YouTube Friday, April 27, 2012 by overseas Chinese news site Boxun.com.
x
In this image made from video, blind legal activist Chen Guangcheng is seen on a video posted to YouTube Friday, April 27, 2012 by overseas Chinese news site Boxun.com.
In this image made from video, blind legal activist Chen Guangcheng is seen on a video posted to YouTube Friday, April 27, 2012 by overseas Chinese news site Boxun.com.
WASHINGTON - U.S. officials say they are in contact with Chinese authorities about “concerning reports” by blind activist Chen Guangcheng that his relatives are being intimidated.
 
U.S. State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland says the U.S. could not independently confirm the reports, because it does not have a presence in Shandong province.
 
“So we’ve made inquiries. We’ve expressed our concern should there be any sense of reprisal, et cetera, but we are awaiting further information,” she told reporters Thursday at a daily briefing in Washington.
 
Chen has told reporters his brother and sister-in-law are under house arrest in their village in Shandong province, and that police are detaining his nephew. Chen told VOA this week his nephew was detained after suffering a “ruthless” beating by "thugs with wooden sticks."
 
After nearly two years under his own extrajudicial detention, Chen broke free April 22 in a daring flight to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. The case has embarrassed China and complicated U.S.-Sino relations.
 
Chen has left the embassy and is being treated in a local hospital as part of a deal the U.S. said would also allow Chen to receive visits from U.S. officials. But Chen says Chinese authorities are not permitting those visits.
 
U.S. State Department spokesman Nuland confirmed to reporters this week that U.S. officials have not seen Chen since Friday, and only have made phone contact with him this week. However, she downplayed the issue, saying, “We are satisfied with the contact that we’ve had with him.”
 
A U.S. official said on background Thursday that Washington does not want to push the issue and further antagonize China by insisting it uphold its deal. The official said the U.S. believes the situation will be better resolved if they let it go for the moment.
 
Chen served four years in prison in 2006 for damaging property and disrupting traffic, charges his lawyers say were trumped up to punish him for exposing forced abortions and sterilizations. The self-taught lawyer is now awaiting permission from China to study law in the United States.

You May Like

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid