Rights Group Reports Attack on Supporters of Chinese Activist

Posted November 1st, 2011 at 2:00 am (UTC-5)
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A human rights group says more than three dozen supporters of blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng were beaten while trying to visit him at his home this week.

Human Rights in China quotes witnesses as saying 37 activists and bloggers were attacked by about 100 unidentified men in the city of Linyi in eastern Shangdong province. The advocacy group says many of the activists were seriously injured, and that three were taken away by local security officers.

Chen Guangcheng has been under house arrest since he completed a jail term in September. He was jailed in 2006 after accusing local family planning officials of forcing women to undergo abortions or sterilization, in adherence to China's one-child policy.

Human rights groups say Chen and his wife have been beaten by authorities while under house detention.

In a related matter, a Hollywood film production company has defended its decision to film a movie in Linyi. The human rights group Women's Rights Without Frontiers is calling for a boycott of Relativity Media and the film, titled 21 and Over. The group says the decision to film the movie in Linyi is a deliberate insult to Guangcheng and human rights in China.

But Relativity Media says it has been “a consistent and outspoken supporter of human rights” and would never undermine its commitment. The movie is being produced under a deal with a Chinese state distribution company. Relativity Media says it believes that expanding its business ties in China “can result in positive outcomes.”