Witnesses discussed details of the escape of blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng from illegal house arrest to safety at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, as well as his legal advocacy work.
Chen escaped from his home, where he had bee detained without charge for 19 months, on April 22 and met the U.S. Ambassador to China and Administration Officials at the U.S. Embassy, where he received medical treatment. Chen stayed at the Embassy for six days while U.S. and Chinese officials negotiated an agreement for Chen to safely stay in the country and resume a normal life with his family.
After officials reached an agreement, Chen left the U.S. Embassy Wednesday and went to a nearby hospital where he is receiving treatment for a leg injury sustained during his escape.
The most recent development is that Chen now says he wants to leave China for the United States. His lawyer stated that Chen and his family feel insecure in the hands of Chinese authorities.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry has criticized the U.S. for their involvement in a domestic Chinese affair and demanded an apology.
State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Wednesday afternoon that there were “U.S. officials in the building” with Chen at the hospital today and that they would continue to visit him there.
“Secondly, you don’t accept verbal promises, you get some actions some good faith actions before you close the deal… So the first principle, you want to do a deal, first thing, bring his wife and child here.. You don’t even talk until she is there with him.”
— Michael Horowitz, Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute