Blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng and a family lawyer have accused local officials of detaining two of his relatives and hounding and harassing others in revenge for his recent escape from house arrest and for sparking an international furor.
Chen, whose escape last month caused embarrassment for China and led to a diplomatic crisis in U.S.-Sino relations, said a sister-in-law and nephew had both been detained, though the lawyer added that Chen’s sister-in-law had since been released.
Chen has spoken previously of his fears for reprisals against his family, but his remarks to Reuters on Thursday, corroborated by the lawyer, are the first time he has relayed details of what he says is a crazed campaign of reprisals.
“Now they’re going crazy with reprisals,” Chen said in a telephone interview from a Beijing hospital where he is being treated for injuries suffered during his escape.
“In fact, they’ve already started taking revenge.”. . .