Blind activist Chen Guangcheng said in a video released Sunday that the conviction of his nephew was made in “revenge” for his plight, which has provoked a diplomatic row between China and the US.
The Yinan County People’s Court handed Chen Kugui, 32, a three-year jail sentence for assaulting officials who stormed into his house looking for Chen Guancheng after he escaped from house arrest. Three were reportedly wounded in the attack with a kitchen knife.
The Chinese dissident expressed his indignation at the Chinese court ruling, saying his nephew merely acted in self-defense when armed men raided the house in the middle of the night and beat him and his parents.
“This is a case that tramples on the rule of law. It is a declaration of war against fairness and justice in the world. I absolutely cannot accept this and am very, very angry,” Chen Guangcheng said in an interview. “There is no doubt that this is a kind of retaliation against me”.
Chen Kugui’s parents learned about the “hurried” trial just hours before it began and were also barred from attending, AP reports. Chen Kugui didn’t have the chance to choose his own defense lawyer.
The trial drew strong criticism from rights groups. Washington condemned Chinese authorities for the “unfair” trial, saying Chen Kugui was the victim of a “deeply flawed legal process”.
Chen Guangcheng was recently named men’s magazine GQ’s rebel of the year.