Blind Chinese Dissident Escapes to US Embassy

Chen Guangcheng had been under house arrest for opposing Chinese policies
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 27, 2012 12:20 PM CDT

(Newser) – A famed blind Chinese dissident has managed to escape his house arrest and post a video detailing the abuses he's suffered and calling on Premier Wen Jiabao to protect his family. Chen Guangcheng, a self-taught lawyer, has long been in custody for opposing China's forced abortion and sterilization policies. Now, friend and fellow activist Hu Jia tells the Washington Post that he's hiding in the US embassy—"the safest place in China."

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"His story is the Chinese version of the Shawshank Redemption," Hu says. The US embassy won't confirm or deny that it's hiding Chen. His escape comes just ahead of a visit from Hillary Clinton and Tim Geithner. "The timing is good," Hu says. "Hopefully, he will meet Clinton." Hu isn't sure if Chen will ask for asylum. “This is an election year in the US,” he notes. “The Republicans are also watching what [President] Obama will do on this case.” (Read more Chen Guangcheng stories.)

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