Entries in ChinaAid (2)


Blind Chinese Activist Believed to be in US Custody

STR/AFP/GettyImages(BEIJING) -- The U.S. State Department is being tight-lipped on the whereabouts of blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng, who escaped house arrest last week, but the organization that helped him escape says he's in the hands of U.S. diplomats.

Chen, a 40-year-old human rights activist who has campaigned for disabled rights and against forced abortions, scaled a wall and slipped past 100 security guards surrounding his house.

Bob Fu, the founder and president of ChinaAid, which aided Chen in his getaway, called the escape an "extraordinary adventure."

"He walked for hours from his own home in the middle of the night. He was wounded, wet, covered in mud. He swam across a river," Fu told ABC News.

Chen was picked up by supporters and driven to Beijing on April 23. Several friends hid him in different locations until his last host was able to reach out to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing on April 27, Fu said.

"He's now 100 percent safe. He's still in China, inside some diplomatic building in the hands of U.S. diplomats," Fu said.

Fu said he is not able to discuss the details of Chen's whereabouts because negotiations are still in progress, but it is widely believed that he is in U.S. custody.

"Very high level diplomatic discussion between China and the U.S. is now in progress," Fu said.

If Chen is in U.S. custody, this would be the first time since 1989, when the United States took in student supporter Fang Lizhi during the Tiananmen Square protests, that the United States has taken in a human rights activist.

At a State Department briefing Friday, spokeswoman Victoria Nuland would not comment on the situation other than to say the United States has called for Chen's release in the past.

"As you know, we have spoken out about his case in the past," Nuland said.

Fu said the Chinese government is deliberating and will probably release a formal response Monday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Blind Chinese Dissident Escaped House Arrest, Under U.S. Protection

STR/AFP/GettyImages(NEW YORK) -- A blind Chinese dissident is under protection from U.S. officials after he escaped from house arrest, U.S.-based rights group ChinaAid says, the BBC reports.

The group says that high-level talks are taking place between U.S. and Chinese officials over Chen Guangcheng's fate. Guangcheng escaped from house arrest last Sunday by scaling a high wall and then being driven hundreds of miles to Beijing, the BBC says. He released a video addressed to Prime Minister Wen Jiabao that was posted online by U.S.-based Chinese dissident site Boxun, asking him to investigate and prosecute local officials he says beat his family members, ensure his family's well-being and deal with and punish corruption in China according to the law, according to the BBC.

The incident could overshadow a visit to Beijing next week by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has repeatedly called for Guangcheng's release, the BBC says.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio