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Human Rights & Social Issues

Blind activist escapes from house arrest

Blind legal activist Chen Guangcheng, who has been deprived of his freedom for years for campaigning against forced abortions, has fled house arrest. There is speculation he has taken refuge at the US embassy in Beijing.

Chen’s escape came just days before China and the United States hold their annual strategic and economic dialogue in Beijing.

In a video posted online yesterday, Chen confirmed his escape and appealed to Premier Wen Jiabao for the protection of his family. “Dear Premier Wen, it wasn’t easy but I finally got out,” Chen said from an unknown location, in front of a window with curtains closed.

Activists said Chen was dramatically spirited away from his home in Shandong by supporters who picked him up on Sunday. “He is 100 per cent safe in Beijing,” said Bob Fu, president of China Aid, a Christian rights organisation which has been in touch with Chen’s family.

The US embassy, when questioned in an e-mail, did not deny Chen was in the embassy – it declined to comment, a response that some believed lent credence to reports that he was there.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman declined to respond to reporters’ questions on Chen.

Hu Jia, one of the mainland’s most high-profile dissidents, wrote about Chen on Twitter late yesterday.

“I drove by the east gate of the US embassy this afternoon, and I couldn’t help but wave my hand towards the embassy … Guangcheng … you are finally safe.”

The New York Times cited a source in the Ministry of State Security as saying Chen was believed to be at the embassy.

Chen, a self-taught legal advocate who exposed forced abortions and sterilisations in Shandong, had been confined to his village home in Linyi with his family since September 2010, when he was released from jail. Chen, his wife, Yuan Weijing, and their young daughter have been kept incommunicado since then.

His son lives separately with his sister-in-law.

Hated by local officials for exposing abuses of population control policies, Chen was jailed for more than four years on what his supporters say were trumped-up charges of “organising a crowd to disrupt traffic” and “damaging public property”.

Supporters of Chen have said he and his wife were severely beaten by local officials on at least two occasions last year. Chen confirmed the attacks, adding that they were denied medical treatment.

He also said hundreds of people had at times been hired to stand guard outside and around his house.

In the video, Chen asked Wen to investigate the violent attacks and punish the officials responsible and sought the protection of his wife and family. “Although I am free, my mother, wife and children are still in their evil hands,” he said. “They will take violent revenge on them because I have left.”

The situation of Chen Guangcheng’s wife and children was unknown. Chen’s brother, Chen Guangfu, and nephew, Chen Kegui, were detained by police after his nephew used a knife to attack officials who broke into their home early yesterday by climbing over the back wall, activists said.

He Peirong, a supporter who reportedly helped Chen escape, was taken away by police yesterday, said Fu, who spoke to her before police knocked on the door at her Nanjing home. Her cellphone remained switched off yesterday.

Guo Yushan, another who helped Chen escape, was under police surveillance. Guo said Chen did not want to leave China.

Verna Yu
South China Morning Post

About chankaiyee2

Author of the book "Tiananmen's Tremendous Achievements" about how with the help of Tiananmen Protests, talented scholars with moral integrity seized power in the Party and state and brought prosperity to China. The second edition of the book will be published within a few days to mark the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Protests All the parts in the first edition remain in the second edition with a few changes due to information available later and better understanding. There are also some changes for improvements of style. The new parts are Chapters 12-19 on events in China after the first edition was published: The fierce power struggle for succession between reformists and conservatives; Xi Jinping winning all elders’ support during his mysterious disappearance for 2 weeks in early September, 2012; and Xi Jinping Cyclone. Chan Kai Yee's new book: SPACE ERA STRATEGY: The Way China Beats The US An eye-opening book that tells the truth how the US is losing to China. The US is losing as it adopts the outdated strategy of Air-Sea Battle while China adopts the space era strategy to pursue integrated space and air capabilities: It is losing due to its diplomacy that has given rise to Russian-Chinese alliance. US outdated strategy has enabled China to catch up and surpass the US in key weapons: Hypersonic weapons (HGV) that Pentagon regards as the weapon that will dominate the world in the future. Aerospaceplane in China’s development of space-air bomber that can engage enemy anywhere in the world within an hour and destroy an entire aircraft carrier battle group within minutes. Anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons, anti-ASAT weapons, stealth aircrafts, drones, AEW&C, etc. The book gives detailed descriptions of China’s weapon development based on information mainly from Chinese sources that the author monitors closely. U.S. Must Not Be Beaten by China! China is not a democracy. Its political system cannot prevent the emergence of a despotic leader or stop such a leader when he begins to bring disasters to people. A few decades ago, Mao Zedong, the worst tyrant in world history did emerge and bring disasters to Chinese people. He wanted to fight a nuclear war to replace capitalism with communism but could not bring nuclear holocaust to world people as China was too weak and poor at that time. If a despot like Mao Zedong emerges when China has surpassed the US in military strength, world people will suffer the misery experienced by Chinese people in Mao era. China surpassing the US in GDP is not something to worry about as China has the heavy burden to satisfy its huge population, but China surpassing the US in military strength will be world people’s greatest concern if China remains an autocracy. US people are of much better quality than Chinese people. What they lack is a wise leader to adopt the correct strategy and diplomacy and the creative ways to use its resources in developing its military capabilities. I hope that with the emergence of a great leader, the US can put an end to its decline and remain number one in the world. China, US, space era strategy, air-sea battle, space-air bomber, arms race, weapon development, chan kai yee


6 thoughts on “Blind activist escapes from house arrest

  1. Reblogged this on Craig Hill.


    Posted by Craig Hill | April 29, 2012, 9:37 pm
  2. Terrible the whole affair – that you are not allowed to say what you want .. in your own country. I hope he will make to US – but I dare to think what will happen to his family.


    Posted by viveka | April 30, 2012, 12:31 am


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