Society 09:15 28/04/2012

Blind China activist makes mystery 'escape'

Blind legal activist Chen Guangcheng, one of the China's most prominent human rights advocates, has escaped from home imprisonment, activists said on Friday, Reuters reported.

Chen, a self-schooled legal advocate who campaigned against forced abortions, had been restricted to his village home in Linyi in eastern Shandong province since September 2010 when he was released from jail.

His confinement and relentless surveillance with his family fanned protests by Chinese sympathizers and criticism from foreign governments and activist groups.

Chen's reported escape and the furor it has unleashed could add to the headaches of China's ruling Communist Party, which is striving to ensure stability and authority ahead of a leadership transition later this year.

Bob Fu, president of the Texas-based religious and political rights advocacy group ChinaAid, said in a statement that Chen was in Beijing and "100 percent safe."

"There is speculation that Chen is in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing," the group added. The U.S. Embassy and China's Foreign Ministry both said they had no immediate comment.


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