Chen Guangcheng has escaped house arrest, may be safe at embassy: reports
SHADONG, CHINA, April 27, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Blind forced abortion opponent Chen Guangcheng has “disappeared” from his lengthy house arrest under the Chinese government, according to a source who contacted human rights group Women’s Rights Without Frontiers. Another Chinese human rights group reported Friday that Chen is “100% safe” and has possibly found refuge in the U.S. Embassy.
Yaxue Cao, a key Chinese human rights activist who has been advocating on behalf of Guangcheng, told WRWF that she spoke with Chen’s nephew, Chen Kegui. Kegui’s mother overheard guards saying that Chen Guangcheng had “disappeared” from his home, where he had been under strict house arrest Neither villagers nor family members know where he is. Yaxue Cao posted the recording of her conversation with Chen Kegui here.
He Peirong just told WRWF that she helped Chen escape to an undisclosed location outside of Shandong. She said that his health is stable, but she fears he is in danger. She also stated that the fate of Chen’s wife, mother, daughter and son may be in jeopardy. Eyewitnesses reported Guangcheng and his family looked seriously ill in February.
“We are grateful that Chen is no longer under house arrest, but we are concerned about his safety and that of his family,” said Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, who called on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to raise Chen’s case during her upcoming visit to Beijing in May.
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However, ChinaAid founder and president Bob Fu announced Friday that he has been 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% safe.” There is speculation that Chen is in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.
The New York Times reported Friday that American officials would not confirm reports that Mr. Chen had entered the American Embassy, and said a source in the Chinese Ministry of State Security backed up a report from the previous day that Chen was thought to be there.
ChinaAid said it 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.”
Fu says that Chen does not plan to flee the country.
Meanwhile, Fu said police have arrested one of the friends who helped drive Chen on April 22 from his home. 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.
Both Fu and Littlejohn report 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. After government officials broke into his home early in the morning by climbing over the back wall, Chen Kegui reportedly thought they were burglars and stabbed 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.”