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Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng flees house arrest

Beijing, Fri, 27 Apr 2012 ANI

Beijing, Apr 27 (ANI): Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng has escaped from house arrest and released a video addressed to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

In the video released, the BBC quotes him as making three demands, which are to investigate and prosecute local officials who Chen accuses of beating up his family members, ensure the safety of his family and tackle corruption and punish those involved according to the law.

Chen, who is blind, escaped from his home in Dongshigu town in Shandong province on Sunday. His whereabouts are currently unclear. There are reports that he is in Beijing and unconfirmed rumours of him being at the US Embassy. The US embassy has replied with a "would not comment" statement.

Guangcheng had been under house arrest for almost 20 months following his release after serving four years in jail. He is known as "the barefoot lawyer". He lost his sight in childhood and has no formal legal training, as blind persons are not permitted to attend college in China.

He is known for revealing rights abuses under China's one-child policy and has accused officials in Shandong Province of forcing 7,000 women into abortions or sterilisations.

He has also advised farmers in land disputes and campaigned for improved treatment of the disabled.

The plight of Chen has become famous around the world, with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton repeatedly calling for his release and is due to visit Beijing next week. (ANI)


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