Commenting on the verdict against Chen Kegui, the nephew of Chinese human rights lawyer Chen Guangcheng, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, Markus Löning, today (30 November) issued the following statement:
The verdict against Chen Kegui is a substantial setback for human rights and the rule of law in China. Chen Kegui was held incommunicado for more than six months with no contact to the outside world. He was denied access to a lawyer of his choosing, and neither his lawyer nor his family were informed about his trial. All this runs counter to Chinese law.
I very much regret that China did not comply with the request from Germany and the EU to be allowed to observe the trial. This does not help with building up mutual trust.
I call upon those responsible in China to respect the principles of a fair trial in any appeal proceedings.
Chen Kegui, the nephew of the blind human rights lawyer Chen Guangcheng who fled to the United States, was today sentenced to three years and three months in prison for “intentional injury” after resisting his detention by officials following his uncle’s flight. Neither his family nor his lawyer knew that the trial was taking place today in Yinan people’s court, Shandong Province. Together with the EU, the German Embassy in Peking had requested to be allowed to observe the trial.