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BBC: China dissident Chen Guangcheng arrives in the US

Saturday, May 19, 2012

BBC 19 May 2012 Last updated at 20:10 ET



Chen Guangcheng spoke as he arrived at New York University in Manhattan

Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng has arrived in New York to begin a new life in the United States.

The blind human rights lawyer caused a diplomatic crisis when he escaped house arrest to arrive at the US embassy in Beijing last month.

Speaking outside New York University, where he has been offered a fellowship, Mr Chen said China had dealt with the situation with "restraint and calm".

But he raised concerns about ongoing reprisals against his family.


"Acts of retribution in Shandong have not been abated and my rights to practice law have been curbed - we hope to see a thorough investigation into this," he said.

The activist thanked US officials and his supporters for their help and said he had come to America for "recuperation in body and spirit".

He and his family were taken from a Beijing hospital, where he was being treated for a foot injury, to the capital's airport on Saturday.


After weeks of uncertainty, the activist, his wife Yuan Weijing and their two children, aged eight and six, were handed passports and allowed to fly to Newark, New Jersey, where they arrived soon after 18:00 (22:00 GMT) on Saturday.

'Fight injustice'

Chen Guangcheng spent six days in the US embassy in Beijing last month after escaping house arrest in north-east China, sparking a diplomatic spat between the US and China.

The self-taught lawyer has campaigned against forced abortions under China's one-child policy and was jailed for four years in 2006 for disrupting traffic and damaging property. He was placed under house arrest after his release in 2010.

He will now take up a fellowship at the US-Asia Law Institute at the New York University School of Law.

Bob Fu, president of the US activist group China Aid and a key supporter of Mr Chen, told the BBC that the dissident was planning to stay in New York for two to three years.
After his arrival in the United States, Mr Chen said he hoped "everybody works with me to promote justice and fairness in China".

"We should link our arms to continue in the fight for the goodness in the world and to fight against injustice," he told the gathered crowd at New York University.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-18135039


"Bob Fu has dedicated his life to bringing freedom of religion to the Chinese people. His story is a testimony to the power of faith and an inspiration to people struggling to break free from oppression."
—Mrs. Laura Bush

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