【 CNN 】   Post Date: 4/27/2012
Chinese Dissident Escapes House Arrest
Author: Steven Jiang
Chen Guangcheng, renowned blind human rights lawyer, escaped from house arrest and is currently seeking refuge at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.  Chen rose to prominence in the late 1990's by defending victims of forced abortions.  His wife, daughter, and mother are still being held.
Beijing (CNN) -- A prominent Chinese human rights activist has called for an investigation into corrupt and cruel officials after saying he escaped from house arrest in an eastern province and fled to Beijing.
 
Chen Guangcheng addressed the Chinese premier, Wen Jiabao, in a video posted on YouTube on Friday, detailing the abuses he said he and his family had suffered at the hands of the authorities during more than 18 months of heavily guarded detention in their home.
 
"They broke into my house and more than a dozen men assaulted my wife," he said. 
 
"They pinned her down and wrapped her in a comforter, beating and kicking her for hours. They also similarly violently assaulted me."
Chinese authorities have not commented.
 
The activist, who is blind, was driven to Beijing on Sunday after evading his guards in the tiny village of Dongshigu in Shandong Province, said He Peirong, a friend and fellow activist said Friday.
 
His high-profile breakout appears to have angered the local authorities who were holding him captive, with members of his family already reporting that they have suffered reprisals.
 
Chen, 40, is a self-taught lawyer who rose to fame in the late 1990s thanks to his legal advocacy for what he called victims of abusive practices, such as alleged forced abortions, by China's family-planning officials. He had been confined to his home along with his wife, mother and daughter since he was released from years in prison in September 2010.
 
In the video posted Friday, he said the treatment of him and his family by the local security forces "was so cruel it has greatly harmed the image of the Communist Party."
 
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Key Words: Chen Guangcheng, human rights China, political dissidents China
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