I was on Twitter earlier this afternoon (April 26, Thursday), around 1:30 pm (China Time 1:30 am, April 27, Friday) someone tweeted a post taken from Weibo saying that Chen Guangcheng’s nephew, the son of his eldest brother Chen Guangfu (陈光福), slashed a knife at a group of thugs breaking into his house. And he had called the police to surrender himself and he was now outside the village waiting for the arrival of the police. A cell phone number was provided by the tweet.
I called and didn’t really expect to find him. But I did! His name is Chen Kegui 陈可贵. In distress, speaking and crying in turn, Kegui told me what had happened. Early in the morning (April 26, Thursday), a lot of vehicles (not police vehicles, he said, at least not marked as police vehicles) and plainclothes guards descended on the village. His mother (Ren Zongju, 任宗举, CGC’s sister-in-law) overheard the guards saying on the phone that CGC disappeared and only Weijing was home. The villagers, including CGC’s relatives living in the village, had no idea what had happend.
Around 11 o’clock at night, Zhang Jian (张健, the head of the township who had more than once beaten CGC) and a group of thugs broke into the house of Chen Guangfu and took him away. They also tried to apprehend Chen Kegui who lives in the same property but in adjoining rooms. Kegui didn’t know what was going on or what they wanted. He was enraged by these people breaking into his home and taking away his frail father without showing any IDs or documents. His own six-year-old son was sick with a fever. His mother was screaming and crying. Kegui confronted the thugs with two kitchen knives and slashed them. The thugs ran away. Kegui called the police to surrender himself. When he answered my call around 2 am Beijing time, he was outside the village waiting for the police. He had multiple injuries from the thugs.
He said just look at his uncle Chen Guangcheng’s case, there is no rule of law to speak of in China. He said he feared for the life of his uncle CGC, he doesn’t know what will happen to his mother, his wife and his son, and he feared for his own life.
I asked Kegui when was the last time he had seen his uncle CGC. He said he caught a glimpse of him earlier this year when another uncle of his died. At the time, CGC broke out of his house but was taken back by a couple dozen guards. Before that, the relatives were allowed to visit CGC on the Chinese New Year’s Day in the beginning of 2011 and stayed briefly. Other than this two occasions, he had not seen CGC for all this time.
Listen to the recording: http://www.freecgc.blogspot.com/2012/04/blog-post_27.html
Update: The Associated Press is now reporting that Chen Guangcheng has escaped from house arrest. Sources are now saying that Chen may already be in a US consulate.