Two months after a Houdini-like escape from house arrest in China, human rights activist Chen Guangcheng walks the sidewalks of New York a free man — thanks to sustained pressure from you and tens of thousands of other Amnesty activists worldwide. Now he urgently needs your help to protect his family back home, which is under threat from Chinese authorities.
I had the great honor of meeting Chen face-to-face last week at New York University, where the self-taught lawyer has taken up formal legal studies. He asked me to share the following message with you:
“When you get back to your office, please say thank you to members all around the world for their continued support and concern for my family. When the opportunity arises, I shall thank them in person.”
Chen received hundreds of messages of solidarity from activists like you after he was detained for exposing forced abortions and sterilizations in China. I’ll never forget how his face lit up when he recounted the encouragement he felt after receiving your handmade cards and handwritten letters.
Your letters provided Chen with the comfort of knowing that he wasn’t forgotten — and they put Chinese authorities on notice that Chen had Amnesty’s millions-strong global human rights movement in his corner.
Now he needs your help again. Chen warned before coming to the United States that Chinese officials would retaliate against his family – and they have. His nephew, Chen Kegui, has been detained and could face the death penalty. Chen Kegui claims he had to defend his family against an attack by plain-clothes local police in his home.
Urge authorities to guarantee that Chen Kegui is given a fair trial and to investigate local officials in Linyi county, Shangdong Province.
As each day passes, our call-to-action becomes more urgent. The court has switched Chen Kegui’s lawyers, calling into question whether he will have access to a fair trial.
Thank you for calling for the protection of Chen’s family today.
Amnesty International USA