Many foreign reporters trying to visit and interview Chen Guangcheng were barred with violence from seeing him

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Deutsche Welle (Chinese) 2011. 02. 15

After the human rights organization China Aid Association published the video of the house arrest of the blind lawyer Chen Guangcheng, the living condition of Chen’s family has drawn concern from people of various fields. Recently, foreign reporters stationing in China tried to go to Dongshigu Village in Linyi area in order to visit and interview Chen Guangcheng, but they were violently barred by the local guards and security agents from seeing him.
A screenshot of the video published on the Internet of Chen Guangcheng being placed on house arrest.
Last Sunday (Feb. 13), Brice, a reporter from the France-based Le Monde’s China Bureau and two reporters from the France-based Le Nouvel Observateur and RFI (Radio France Internationale) drove in a vehicle and went to Dongshigu Village in order to visit and interview Chen Guangcheng, the blind lawyer who was released from prison last September. As the three reporters had learned that the gate of the village is guarded by security agents, they entered Dongshigu Village from a small path behind the village.
According to Brice, as they were making inquiries on the specific location of Chen Guangcheng’s house, six men in coats who looked like peasants suddenly dashed out from a small lane. “They dashed over to us and without uttering a word, they began to push us until we were pushed to the highway. One of them went over and robbed a reporter of his audio recorder in his hand and took away the reporter certificate the reporter was carrying with him. Then, they searched the vehicle we went there in. After erasing the data stored in the audio recorder, they returned our recorder and vehicle, but they didn’t return our reporter certificates.”
According to Brice, while the peasant-like people were pushing them, a male Chinese threatened them by holding a brick in his hand. Another person tried to grab the bag the woman reporter from Le Nouvel Observateur was carrying. The reporters questioned these men and asked them who they are. One of the men said that they are the people in charge of the security in the village and they suspected the three reporters were thieves or people with suspicious activities. After the three reporters left in their vehicle, several people drove a vehicle without license and followed them for a while.
As the Chinese saying goes: “Things come in pairs,” on the second day after Brice and two other French reporters left Linyi, two reporters from the New York Times also made an attempt to interview Chen Guangcheng. Possibly because of the experience of stopping the foreign reporters the day before, the security was heightened this time in guarding Chen Guangcheng’s house. Before Andy Jacobs, the reporter of the New York Times stationing in China and his colleague could enter Dongshigu Village, they were stopped. “Several plain-clothed agents blocked our vehicle and didn’t let us enter the village. They opened the door of our vehicle and grabbed our cell phones, video cameras, cameras and our documentations. Finally, they seized the memory card of our camera and damaged a notebook computer.”
According to Andy Jacobs, over a dozen of people came and surrounded us. “They pulled our clothes and wanted to frighten us.” Andy Jacobs and his colleague who were forced to leave Dongshigu Village later reported the incident to the local Public Security department. However, the receptionist at the police facility only recorded the items taken away from the reporters and didn’t inquire or record the process of the incident.” They said they would investigate it but in fact they are not interested in us at all and they don’t want to take care of this incident at all.
On the same day the China reporters of the New York Times went to Dongshigu Village, a netizen named Gao Xingbo also went to the village. According to his Twitter friend Pearl, after Gao Xingbo saw the video of Chen Guangcheng kept in the house arrest, he decided to bring some mutton to Chen Guangcheng’s family as Chen Guangcheng’s wife Yuan Weijing says in the video that Chen Guangcheng likes eating mutton but hasn’t eaten any since he came out of the prison. Compared with foreign reporters who were pushed away by the security guards, Gao Xingbo who brought mutton into the village fared much worse. His Twitter friend Pearl said:
After he entered the village, he was found out by the security guards and was beaten. After that, he was thrown out into a wild place in a suburb over 20 kilometers from the village.
There is a report that some reporters from CNN also went to Dongshigu Village in an attempt to visit Chen Guangcheng’s family today (Feb. 15). Whether the reporters from this media were prohibited by the local authorities, we still don’t know at this time. Andy Jacob, the New York Times China reporter, said that it seems the local government doesn’t want foreign reporters to visit Chen Guangcheng. “The local leaders don’t want Chen’s family to have any contact with the outside world. This is their purpose.”
Author: Hong Sha
Editor in charge: Le Ran,,14843583,00.html?maca=chi-rss-chi-top-1043-rdf&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

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