【 The New York Times 】   Post Date: 6/19/2012
Blind Dissident Calls out Beijing to Investigate His Case as Promised
Author: Erik Eckholm
Having left China a month ago, Chen Guangcheng is still waiting for the Chinese government to investigate the officials who held he and his wife for years without due process.  Chen also threatened to severely embarrass Beijing by revealing details of the brutal treatment he and his wife endured if they did not follow through with their promise.
One month after their flight from China to New York, the dissident lawyer Chen Guangcheng and his family have settled into comfortable, busy lives in Greenwich Village.
Mr. Chen is enjoying his first chance in years to study and use the Internet without fear of arrests or beatings. But he is hardly serene.
In an interview Monday, Mr. Chen, 40, a blind, self-taught lawyer, displayed anger at the Beijing government for failing so far to investigate the local officials who persecuted him and beat his relatives. He and his wife, Yuan Weijing, said they remained desperately worried about the harsh treatment of those they left behind in Shandong Province.
In previous statements, Mr. Chen expressed hopes for rapid legal changes in China and said he took Beijing officials at their word when they promised to punish provincial officials who he said had exceeded their powers.
On Monday, he repeated his belief that the rule of law is inevitable. But he has seen no signs, he said, of an honest inquiry into what many experts call his blatantly illegal treatment over the years, retaliation for agitating on behalf of the disabled, farmers and women who were forced to have abortions. Sounding more defiant than he did right after his arrival on May 19, he threatened to embarrass the Chinese government severely if they did not act soon.
“If they don’t open an investigation in a timely manner, I will quickly make my next step,” he said. “Then the central government will not have an opportunity to be the good guy.”
Mr. Chen refused to be more explicit. In past weeks, and again on Monday, he has hinted that he is withholding details of extreme brutality endured by him and his wife during the home detention over the last year and a half. But it was unclear how effective any such revelations would be in prodding Beijing to respond to his demands.
Mr. Chen and his wife spoke at New York University’s U.S.-Asia Law Institute, which has granted him visiting scholar status for an indefinite period. The university
has provided a faculty apartment near Washington Square.
Their children, ages 6 and 10, are attending a public school and picking up English, while Mr. Chen and Ms. Yuan study English for two hours every morning. Mr. Chen spends many afternoons meeting legal experts one on one, learning about the American Constitution and the United States legal system — starting, he made a point of saying, with the Declaration of Independence. He plans to learn about disability law, among other topics.
Any extra time is taken by meetings with politicians, human rights advocates and friends from China and the United States. Mr. Chen plans to write a book, he said, and expects to keep speaking out on legal issues. But after years of near-isolation, he said, he needed time to learn and think.
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Key Words: Chen Guangcheng, human rights China, political dissidents China
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