The U.S. is calling for China to provide immediate medical treatment to the imprisoned nephew of Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng (chen GWANG-cheng).
The nephew, Chen Kegui (chen KAIR-gwee), is suffering from appendicitis but being denied medical parole, according to human rights groups and his father. They say he has been subject to mistreatment in custody.
It is seemingly the latest punishment exacted by authorities against the family of blind activist Chen Guangcheng, who escaped house arrest last year and eventually moved to the U.S.
Reporters' calls to the prison in Linyi, in eastern China, and to the prison hospital seeking comment rang unanswered Tuesday, a holiday.
Chen Kegui was sentenced in November to three years in prison in the aftermath of his uncle's escape.
State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell expressed deep concern Tuesday and said there were credible reports his family was being harassed by authorities.