News

China Rights Group: Missing Dissident Under US Protection

In this image made from video, blind legal activist Chen Guangcheng is seen on a video posted to YouTube on April 27, 2012 by overseas Chinese news site Boxun.com.
In this image made from video, blind legal activist Chen Guangcheng is seen on a video posted to YouTube on April 27, 2012 by overseas Chinese news site Boxun.com.

A U.S.-based China rights organization says the blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng is under U.S. protection and that talks are underway between U.S. and Chinese officials.

The group ChinaAid released the statement Saturday, citing sources close to Chen, although there were few details. ChinaAid President Bob Fu, a former Tiananmen Square activist, called the Chen situation "a pivotal moment for U.S. human rights diplomacy."

On Friday, ChinaAid said Chen is safe and at a location far from his home village.

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

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 village of Dongshigu 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 Friday he believed that Chen was admitted into the embassy.

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 said he is relieved that Chen has escaped. Smith chairs a commission on China that includes members of Congress and presidential appointees.

"I am relieved to hear the reported news of human rights advocate Chen Guangcheng's escape from extended illegal home confinement and hope that he is safe as his supporters have indicated," said Smith.

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.

Fu, of ChinaAid, said Chen was able to leave his home on April 22 and his friends escorted him to a safe location.  Fu said Chen's wife, daughter and mother are still at the family's home, which was surrounded by local authorities after they found him gone on Thursday.

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: Jonathan Huang
April 29, 2012 6:45 PM
@ Winston, USA, you are wrong, CCP doesnt against emigration of Chinese to other countries. If US wants, we can send 500 million Chinese to US, no kidding. Our goal is reduce population by half. And for those dissidents, CCP cant even wait to kick them out of China. US just go send flights and ships and pick up as many as you want.

by: Huaiwei Liu
April 29, 2012 6:32 PM
jack zhang 29-04-2012
one-child policy in China benefits China and benefits the whole world.

That does not mean the chinese goverment can use illegal violence on his people.

by: Hopeless Chinese Has No Protection
April 29, 2012 12:59 PM
China's government is largely composed of parasite apparatchiks and they are ensuring the entire Chinese nation becomes parasitised by those whom they are forced to work for, for essentially nothing - that is to say, us.

by: jack zhang
April 29, 2012 6:28 AM
one-child policy in China benefits China and benefits the whole world.

by: winston
April 29, 2012 6:24 AM
My thoughts and prayers are with Chen Guangcheng and his family. Abuse of power is always wrong. China does have real population issues that also have to be addressed. Something many places will have to deal with. What I dont get about China is why they dont let people emigrate ,ore freely from there,, if they want less people.

by: Wanxia Liao
April 28, 2012 10:49 PM
The US is not a defender of Chinese people’s human rights, its propaganda on China’s human rights is only a political tool to defeat Chinese people as a race. The US will violate the human rights of any Chinese with all imaginable Fascist brutality, my story is a proof. Unlike Chinese Chengguang Cheng, Xiaobuo Liu etc., I have never even taken part in any political activity here, yet the US and Canadian governments made me a political prisoner, merely because I challenged the White supremacy.

by: Jonathan Huang
April 28, 2012 9:20 PM
No one knows whos Fang Lizhi any more in China.
Imagine if Anshan su ki is not in Burma then whats her value to the west?
So, obviously, CCP is the biggest winner in this escaping game. 1. dont worry his talk anymore, fully silence him from inside China. 2. no more spending on keeping him watched. 3. no more bothers from west.

by: Shirley
April 28, 2012 9:19 PM
I JUST WANT YOU TO REPORT WITH JUSTICE.

by: Jonathan Huang
April 28, 2012 9:16 PM
Most likely, the CCP allowed his escaping. Look, after tianmen square incident,
most of then student leaders went to US, so did Fang lizhi. You really think CCP cant send them to jail even kill them? No CCP dont want make them martyrs. and keep them in China is always bothering, have to spend to monitor them. The best way is sending them out and shut the door behind them. Who remember them after few years.

by: North Wind
April 28, 2012 5:54 PM
BeiFeng, a Hong Kong based activist said - " The US embassy is the only free place in China right now".
Comments page of 2
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Wini
X
July 28, 2015 12:21 AM
The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Obama Encourages Kenya to Fix Cultures of Corruption, Discrimination

President Barack Obama bid farewell to Kenya Sunday with a major speech at as stadium outside the capital Nairobi where he called on Kenyans to change the cultures of corruption and discrimination that can hold society back. VOA East Africa Correspondent Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video California Towns Welcome Special Olympics Athletes

Cities and towns in Southern California are greeting thousands of athletes who are arriving for Special Olympics, a competition for people with intellectual disabilities. The games will run from July 25th through August 2nd. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, where athletes from Namibia, Singapore and Tanzania got a rousing welcome from local residents.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.
Video

Video Hoverbike Flying Toward Reality

Another long-standing dream of many technological inventors is quickly approaching reality: U.S.- and British-based firms are cooperating in the development of an individual flying platform they call a hoverbike. They say it may revolutionize the concept of flying, including in the U.S. military. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video As Japan Expands Defense Role, Protests Follow

The Japanese government is moving forward with a controversial security bill that would authorize the military to fight abroad for the first time since World War II. Leaders say it is critical to defend against rising threats from China and North Korea. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Japan on the big changes ahead, and the opposition they are drawing.
Video

Video Replacing Poppies with Coffee in Myanmar

The remote mountains of Myanmar’s Shan state are home to the second-largest opium-producing region in the world. After a drop during the 2000s, production surged in the past eight years to feed an increasing demand for heroin in China. But farmers are now making less on the crop, and the U.N. is hoping many will make the switch to growing coffee. Daniel de Carteret reports for VOA from Taunggyi.

VOA Blogs