Blind dissident Chen tells US Congress about China's harassment of relatives
Beijing, May 16 (ANI): Blind dissident Chen Guangcheng reportedly called the US House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Human Rights from a Beijing hospital to complain about his relatives being harassed by the Chinese authorities.
According to The Telegraph, Chen complained that the Chinese authorities had beaten his elder brother and nephew since he had fled house arrest in late April.
Chen also said that his nephew has been held on charges of homicide and was subjected to a three hours thrashing that left him bleeding.
"This is a pattern," Chen said, adding, "This is not the first time it happened against my family."
Human rights activist Bob Fu, who translated Chen's conversation, had earlier testified that the dissident's nephew, Chen Kegui, used a kitchen knife in self-defence that injured several people who had burst into his home without warrants.
Chen is also awaiting Chinese permission to travel to study in the US.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that American visas for Chen and his family were ready more than a week ago, and added that Washington was only awaiting for Beijing to complete formalities.
Chen first spoke to American lawmakers over the telephone two weeks ago to plead for help to leave China with his family.
Chen had escaped house arrest last month and sought asylum at the US Embassy in Beijing for six days. (ANI)
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