Shortly after China learned that blind activist Chen Guangcheng had escaped from house arrest, police muscled their way into his oldest brother's home, the brother says. Now, Chen Guangfu is suing police and the local government for "scaling the walls of his home and for wrecking his home," he tells Reuters, calling the actions unlawful. While the suit could again call international attention to human rights issues in China, it may not gain much legal ground: China's courts hardly ever take on cases brought by dissidents and their families, Reuters notes.
When they do accept such cases, the government is generally guaranteed victory. Meanwhile, Chen Guangfu's son's own case has been sent to a state prosecutor. Chen Kegui was charged for brandishing a knife when an official and 20 others entered the family's home. The charge was initially "intentional homicide," though no one was killed; it's now "intentional wounding." Once again, Chen Kegui's lawyers have been barred from speaking to him, one says. (Read more China stories.)