By Tania Branigan, Beijing
Idealistic but realistic: Chen Guangcheng is seen on a video posted on YouTube. “I am now free. But my worries have not ended yet,” Mr Chen said.
The activist’s family has been harassed for years.
THE campaign to keep blind activist Chen Guangcheng locked away from the world has been as remarkable in its pettiness as it has been comprehensive in scope.
Scores of thugs armed with surveillance cameras, floodlights and phone-jamming technology have watched an ailing blind man and his family.
Supporters who have attempted to visit have been beaten, detained and pelted with stones.
Mr Chen’s elderly mother has been harassed when working in the fields.
Guards escort his six-year-old daughter to school and have confiscated her toys.
”It has been collective punishment for a non-existent crime,” said Nicholas Bequelin, senior Asia researcher for Human Rights Watch.