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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.

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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".
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