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China Rights Group: Missing Dissident's Relatives Arrested

A rally in California supporting Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng.
A rally in California supporting Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng.

A U.S.-based China rights organization says blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng is under U.S. protection but that two of his realtives have been arrested.

Listen to Ira Mellman's interview with Bob Fu.

Speaking to VOA late Sunday, ChinaAid President Bob Fu said Chen is safe and at a location far from his home, but the only option left for him might be to flee to the United States.

Citing sources close to Chen, Fu said more than two dozen military police reportedly arrested Chen's elder brother and nephew Friday morning, the same day Chen allegedly went into U.S. protection.  Chen's wife, daughter and mother reportedly still are under very tight house arrest.

The United States has expressed concern about Chen's fate, but refused all comment on his whereabouts, amid reports he fled to the U.S. embassy in Beijing.

In an interview with Fox News Sunday, U.S. President Barack Obama's top counterterrorism advisor, John Brennan, said Mr. Obama will do whatever he thinks is in the best interest of the United States, as well as the individuals involved.  Brennan would not confirm when Chen was in U.S. custody, but reiterated the importance of U.S -China relations.

Chen, a lawyer and activist, was arrested after documenting abuses in China's policy on restricting the size of most families.  He disappeared Sunday from Dongshigu village in the eastern province of Shandong, although authorities did not realize he was missing until Thursday.  It is not clear where he went, but his friend and fellow activist Hu Jia said he believed that Chen was admitted into the embassy Friday.

U.S. diplomats there declined any comment and a spokesman for the Chinese government said he knew nothing of the reports.

The development comes days before U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner are due to visit Beijing for talks.  

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai said at a briefing in Beijing Saturday on the upcoming talks that he had no information on Chen's case.

In Washington, U.S. Republican Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey, told VOA he is relieved that Chen has escaped. Smith chairs a commission on China that includes members of Congress and presidential appointees, the Congressional-Executive Commission on the People's Republic of China.

But Smith expressed concern about the safety of Chen's family and supporters in China.

A relative of Chen told VOA that many police officers, some armed, have converged on his home in Dongshigu.

In a video posted online Friday, Chen detailed the abuses he and his family have allegedly suffered in his year-and-a-half under house arrest.  He also called on Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao to investigate human rights abuses in China.  

Chen, who campaigned against forced abortions under China's "one child" policy, had been held under house arrest since he was released from a four-year prison sentence in September 2010.

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by: @ Huang
May 01, 2012 3:47 PM
Chen did not protest against one-child policy. He protested against forced abortions while abortion is widely considered as murder. Mr. Huang, please stop twisting the fact.

by: heshukui
April 30, 2012 8:22 PM
What had happened?

by: Jonathan Huang
April 30, 2012 7:21 PM
yah, right, in HK, how about send 2 million Chinese to H.K.? To anyone who against China's one child policy, would you accept 10 million Chinese to live in your country? China has 1.5 billion people. UN has about 100 countries. IF each country accept 10 million Chinese, we still have 500 million left, still more than US and Japan added up. If you cant then shut the f*ck up.

by: Eric Pinola
April 30, 2012 7:41 AM
I hope Obummer and the US government will do something to help this man and his family.

The irony is that President Obama is the most Pro Abortion president our nation has ever seen.

by: wang
April 30, 2012 3:58 AM
i wish one day you can come home freely,
i will pay my attention to you ,best wish to you.

by: knows
April 30, 2012 1:56 AM
Chen, who campaigned against forced abortions under China's "one child" policy, had been held under house arrest since he was released from a four-year prison sentence in September 2010

I had never hear anything about forced abortion under "one child" policy ,usually ,the one who violate this law would be punished by penalty. If there is forced abortion ,that must be some personal behavior of some low quality officer.

by: victim of CPC
April 30, 2012 1:38 AM
There is no human rignts in China at all ! The Communist Party of China hates people who require human rights ,because CPC deem it a threat to their rule.

by: leo
April 29, 2012 8:25 PM
oppose forced abortions under China's "one child" policy

by: Exenon
April 29, 2012 8:24 PM
Welcome back Stalin. If a vision impaired intellectual can be imprisoned and his family subjected to the paranoid excesses of the Stalinist regimes in the Soviet Union, North Korea and Maoist China, then a reappraisal of relationships with this fascist regime must be considered by all countries, who in their gluttony for cheap consumer goods, have become clients and fellow travellers.

by: devildoc68
April 29, 2012 7:10 PM
American should ban ALL imports from China if this is the way they want to behave....what a pathetic country.
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