Nephew of Blind Chinese Activist on Trial

Posted November 30th, 2012 at 5:20 am (UTC-5)
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The nephew of blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng has gone on trial in a case seen by rights groups as retaliation for Chen's escape from house arrest earlier this year and subsequent asylum in the United States.

The father of Chen Kegui said his son faced charges Friday in the northeastern Yinan County Court that he assaulted officials who stormed into his house looking for his uncle. Earlier, the defendant had been charged with murder, but his family says charges were downgraded because officials did not have enough evidence to prosecute.

Chen's uncle is now living in New York City. The blind lawyer had been under 19 months of house arrest in eastern Shandong province for exposing forced abortions and other wrongdoing by local officials.