Blind Chinese Human Rights Activist Has Escaped From House Arrest
Said to be "100 Percent Safe", Vows to Fight to "the End for Freedom," Accomplice, Relatives Arrested
By Michael Ireland
Senior International Correspondent, ASSIST News Service
BEIJING, CHINA (ANS) -- ASSIST News learned Friday that U.S. State Department and congressional and White House officials, as well as major media outlets, have been briefed on the status of blind legal activist Chen Guangcheng, who escaped earlier this week from his home where he had been held under harsh and violent house arrest conditions since his Sept. 2010 release from prison.
In an e-mail to ANS, ChinaAid's founder and president Bob Fu said he was in touch with Chen's friends and family and was told by a source who brought Chen to Beijing that he is not in any danger and is "100 percent safe." There is speculation that Chen is in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.
Chen Guangcheng and his wife and child
(Photo courtesy ChinaAid).
ChinaAid was asked on Friday to convey to the outside world Chen's intention to "fight to the end for the freedom of my family inside China. I want to live a normal life as a Chinese citizen with my family."
Meanwhile, police have arrested one of the friends who helped drive Chen on April 22 from his home in Dongshigu village, Shuanghou town, Linyi city, Shandong province to a safe location in another province.
The friend, He Peirong, was in communication with ChinaAid when she was arrested at her home in Nanjing, coastal Jiangsu province, on Friday at 11:11 a.m. She has not responded to later efforts to reach her.
ChinaAid has also learned that police have also taken into custody Chen's older brother and his nephew, Chen Guangfu and Chen Kegui, respectively.
The father and son were taken from their home early Friday morning. Chen Kegui reportedly had stabbed some government officials who broke into his home early in the morning by climbing over the back wall and Chen, mistaking them for burglars, attacked them.
"We must report the true fact of this case and not let the Chinese propaganda machine spin this story as they see fit," said Fu. "We will stand with Chen and work with the international community and world media to fight for his freedom."
ChinaAid has briefed the U.S. State Department and congressional and White House officials about Chen's situation, and has also worked with major wire services, newspapers and radio -- including ASSIST News -- to get out Chen's story.
"We admire Chen's extraordinary courage and his unwavering desire to fight for the fundamental rights owed every Chinese citizen," Fu said. "We urge the U.S. government and other democratic nations to show the courage of their convictions and protect this brave rights defender."
Source: (ANS) http://www.assistnews.net/" eudora="autourl -