(February 11, 2011) According to CNN, blind Chinese human rights activist Chen Guangcheng and his wife have been beaten and placed under house arrest. Chen had only recently completed a four year prison sentence for publicly criticizing government policies. Chen has been a prominent human rights activist since 1998, when he organized protests against water pollution from a local factory in Yinan County.
One of China’s most prominent activists and his wife are under house arrest and have been beaten by authorities, two human rights groups, China Aid and Chinese Human Rights Defenders said Friday.
In a home video released Wednesday by U.S.-based rights group China Aid, Chen Guangcheng described the dire and frustrating conditions of his house arrest, since he was released from jail in September. He said police have threatened to throw him back in jail without recourse.
“I’ve come out of a small jail and entered a bigger one (house arrest),” Chen, 39, said in the video, wearing sunglasses and a black jacket. “Those people stand at the four corners of my house and spy on my family and monitor what we do … floodlights have been installed around my house and surveillance cameras.”
Vehicles surround his home, and his land line and mobile phone have been cut off. Chen said anyone in the community who attempts to help him is threatened by the authorities.
“My house is basically under surveillance 24 hours a day and we can’t get out of the house and the same thing happens to my wife,” described Chen. “Only my mother can go out to get something for us to eat and stay alive.”