News

    Activists: Chinese Dissident Chen Guangcheng 'Safe'

    Blind legal activist Chen Guangcheng is seen in a video posted on YouTube on April 27, 2012 by the Chinese news website Boxun.com.
    Blind legal activist Chen Guangcheng is seen in a video posted on YouTube on April 27, 2012 by the Chinese news website Boxun.com.
    Nico Colombant

    Human rights activists said Friday that Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng, who has spoken out against forced abortions, is safe after escaping house arrest earlier this month. But his exact location has not been confirmed.

    Friends and fellow activists say Chen escaped Sunday, evading guards who had been keeping him inside his home in the eastern Shandong province.

    They say Chen, who is blind, fled at night by scaling a high wall and was taken by car, evading checkpoints, before making it to Beijing.

    Chen Guangchen background:

    • Self-taught lawyer, blinded by a fever in infancy
    • Jailed in 2006 after exposing forced abortions and sterilizations
    • Named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of 2006
    • Under house arrest since his release from prison in September, 2010
    • Escaped his heavily-guarded home on April 22, 2012
    • Posted video online days later detailing abuses he says he and his family suffered

    Chen, a self-taught lawyer, has accused authorities of forcing thousands of women to have late-term abortions or sterilizations under China's policy of restricting the size of most families. Chen and his family were put under round-the-clock house arrest in 2010, after he was released from a four-year jail sentence.

    Close friend and fellow activist Hu Jia said Friday that he believed Chen was allowed into the U.S. embassy in Beijing, but this has not been confirmed.

    A U.S. embassy spokesman said he did not have any information on Chen. A U.S. State Department spokeswoman repeatedly said during her daily briefing Friday that she had no comment on Chen.

    Chen released an online video Friday addressed to Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao in which Chen said he had been beaten.  

    New Jersey Representative Chris Smith has raised awareness about Chen's plight.

    "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," he said.

    But Smith said he is worried about the safety of Chen's family members.

    The New York-based group Human Rights Watch called on China to guarantee Chen's safety.  

    Another U.S.-based group, All Girls Allowed, which campaigns against gender-selective abortions, released a statement calling on the U.S. government to keep China accountable and to protect Chen, if he is at the U.S. embassy in Beijing.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
     Previous    
    by: A man of the north
    April 27, 2012 2:06 PM
    "He also issued demands to Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, including a call for all human rights offenders to be severely punished." Are you checking if we are blind too? And protesting against one child policy? What do you suggest of China...a baby boom to 2 billion people?

    by: Wangdhuk
    April 27, 2012 10:55 AM
    The CCP has been persecuting Chen for years & mistreated him. I hope Chen makes it to US or UK Embassy & gets asylum.
    Comments page of 2
     Previous    

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clownsi
    X
    February 09, 2016 8:04 PM
    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay Prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East Affairs and national security.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.