GENEVA (27 April 2012) - The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Friday expressed concern about the welfare of Chinese human rights activist Chen Guangcheng, and the safety and well-being of his family members, following his reported escape on 22 April from illegal house arrest in Dongshigu town, Linyi county, in Shandong province.
Chen's current whereabouts are unknown, but he has expressed fear of retaliation against his wife Yuan Weijing and children who remained in Shandong. Although he was released in September 2010 at the end of a four-year jail term after being convicted on charges resulting from his work on human rights, he and his family have continued to suffer unlawful detention, ill-treatment and other sanctions.
“I’m disturbed to hear reports that other family members, including his brother Chen Guangfu and nephew Chen Kegui, have now been detained,” Pillay said.
The High Commissioner said she has previously raised concerns with the Chinese authorities over Chen Guangcheng's case, and once again urged them “to investigate the treatment of both him and his family, to ensure their physical integrity, and to provide redress for any wrongdoing by local officials.”
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