Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement regarding the sentencing of Chen Kegui, the nephew of Chinese legal activist Chen Guangcheng, to 39 months in prison for defending himself against armed intruders who had harassed his family:
“The decision by Chinese authorities to sentence Chen Guangcheng’s nephew, Chen Kegui, to prison for simply defending himself and his family is an affront to the rule of law and due process.
“Chen Kegui was not allowed access to his own legal representation and he was prohibited from contact with his family during the trial, in clear violation on Chinese law. It is deeply disappointing that the Chinese government has not yet fulfilled its promise to Chen Guangcheng to conduct a full investigation into the illegal activities of local officials in the detention and harassment of the Chen family.
“The United States and international community must continue to send a clear message that the ability of citizens to seek redress against actions that have violated their legal rights is essential for an accountable and transparent society. Chen Kegui should be released from prison, immediately and unconditionally.