[Nfbmo] Blind Chinese Activist lawyer story

DanFlasar at aol.com DanFlasar at aol.com
Tue May 1 03:47:38 UTC 2012

Txt from todays Huffingtonpost, link afterwards:

By Chris Buckley

BEIJING, April 30 (Reuters) - Chinese dissident  Chen Guangcheng's escape 
from house arrest to U.S. diplomatic protection was a  "miracle" of planning 
and endurance but the blind activist hopes to stay in  China and campaign 
for reform, one of his key helpers said on  Monday.

Chen's supporters say he is now under U.S. diplomatic protection  in 
Beijing after escaping 19 months of stifling informal detention in his rural  
home, his future the subject of fraught secret talks between China and the  
United States.

"Chen Guangcheng's escape was a miracle, hard to believe  unless you heard 
him tell the story himself," said Guo Yushan,a Beijing-based  researcher and 
rights advocate who has campaigned for Chen and helped bring him  to 
Beijing after his escape.

He was speaking in his first long interview  since he was released from 
days of police questioning after Chen's escape became  public.

"He had to climb over eight walls and over a dozen barriers by  himself, 
tripping and falling hundreds of times for 19 hours until he crossed a  stream 
and finally escaped from his village," said Guo, citing Chen's account of  
how he fled his home Dongshigu Village in Shandong province in eastern  

"His whole body was cut and bruised from all his climbing and  tripping. 
His right foot strained so he could barely stand," said Guo. "By the  end, he 
could only crawl for a long stretch, so when I saw him he looked in a  
really sorry state."

But Chen's ultimate plan was not to seek refuge in  America or any other 
country, said Guo.

"He was adamant that he would not  apply for political asylum with any 
country," said Guo. "He certainly wants to  stay in China, and demand redress 
for the years of illegal persecution in  Shandong and continue his efforts for 
Chinese society."

Guo said he did  not want to discuss what help Chen might have received 
from relatives and  villagers in rural Shandong, but he feared they would 
endure the worst of  officials' humiliated anger over the escape.

Chen's wife, Yuan Weijing,  cannot be contacted, added Guo.

"Now we're most worried about his  family's safety, that once the officials 
found he had gone, they'll settle  scores with them," he said.

Already, Chen's tale has become part of  China's dissident folklore: a 
blind man defeating the Goliath of ruling  Communist Party controls, echoing the 
man who stood down an army tank near  Tiananmen Square after the crackdown 
in 1989.

Chen, a self-schooled legal  advocate who campaigned against forced 
abortions used to implement family  planning goals, was locked in extra-legal 
confinement in his village home in  Shandong since September 2010, when he was 
released from jail on charges he  rejected as spurious.

"He spent over two months staying inside his room  for two reasons - to 
work out the patterns of his guards, and to get the guards  lulled into the 
idea that he, Chen Guangcheng, was not coming out or trying to  leave," said 
Guo, whose glasses and goatie suggest his intellectual  background.

"He seized a brief moment to jump the first wall in about  five seconds, 
and then came the second, third, fourth," said Guo. "It took  nineteen hours 
for him to finally get out."

Village officials and guards  were so numbed into assuming that Chen was 
confined to his bed that they did not  discover his escape until he was gone, 
said Guo.

After learning through  contacts that Chen had escaped, Guo sped in a car 
to get him and take him and  another supporter, He Peirong, on the 600 km 
(370 miles) journey back to  Beijing.

"The situation is complicated now, so I don't want to confirm  where he is 
now," said Guo. "His own personal choice is certainly not to leave  China." 
(Reporting by Chris Buckley)


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