Chen Guangcheng’s Supporters Hope for His Freedom

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Supporters of the blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng are hoping for his freedom as he's receiving medical treatment at a Beijing hospital. Chen was escorted to the hospital on Wednesday by the US Ambassador Gary Locke. Here's the story.

As the Chinese legal activist Chen Guangcheng is receiving medical treatment at the Beijing Chaoyang Hospital, his supporters hope for his freedom.

The Washington Post reported Wednesday Chen was taken to the hospital accompanied by the US Ambassador Gary Locke.

Chen's supporters gathered at the hospital.

[Jiang Tianyong, Beijing Human Rights Lawyer]:
"I don't know if he is with people from the embassy, but what I know is that the US ambassador and Mr Campbell came here with him together to get him treated."

China's Foreign Ministry said Chen left the US Embassy on his own will after staying there for six days. And a senior US official said Chen intends to stay in China.

But the Associated Press reported Chen's close friend saying Chinese officials forced Chen to choose between leaving China alone or staying in China with his family.

It is unclear if Chen will remain in China although he has said he wants to. While considerations over Chen's fate continue, his supporters express concern.


[Yang Bo, Chen's Supporter]:
"Of course I hope he is well, and hope that his family is all united, because I'm always concerned about his situation."

Chen was jailed for four years and put under illegal house arrest for another 19 months—for exposing late-term abortions under the Chinese regime's one-child policy.

Last week the self-taught lawyer made a daring escape from his home in China's Shandong province and made the 300-mile journey to the US Embassy in Beijing.