Chen Guangcheng seeks exile in the United States, fears revenge on his family
Beijing (AsiaNews) - The blind activist Chen Guangcheng wants to go into
exile in the United States rather than remain in China, over fears for his
safety and that of his family. Yesterday,
the dissident who revealed the campaigns of forced abortions and sterilizations
in Shandong, left the U.S. embassy in Beijing
to seek treatment in the hospital
of Chaoyang District, in
the capital (see photo).
Chen had taken refuge in the embassy six days ago. According to the U.S. representatives, Chen left the building "of his own free will," in what looks like an agreement between the U.S. and China, under which the dissident would meet with his family, move to live outside of Shandong - where he has been persecuted and kept under house arrest without charges for quite a long time- continue his studies and China would open an investigation into the violence and isolation he was subjected to.
But after being allowed to meet his wife and his two sons, who told him of the threats they received these days, the dissident asked for asylum the U.S. because "my rights and my security here can not be guaranteed" .
Chen's wife, Yuan Weijing, said she had been tied to a chair for two days, while members of the government of Shandong threatened to beat her to death.
Already many of the assurances given by the U.S. Embassy have been betrayed. In leaving his refuge, Chen was told that his stay in hospital would be guaranteed by the presence of U.S. diplomatic officials. But today there is not one of them and the ward where he was admitted is controlled by Chinese police.
The fate of Chen and his family seems to be now in the hands of the Chinese government which has demanded an apology of the United States for allowing Chen to take refuge in the embassy. The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Liu Weimin has accused Washington of "interfering in the internal affairs of China."
Chen Guangcheng has also appealed directly to President Barack Obama, asking him to do everything to ensure the safety of his family.
The U.S. position is very awkward: yesterday US-China talks on various economic issues and policies started and the U.S. does not want to spoil the atmosphere of dialogue and cooperation with Beijing. Yesterday, Hillary Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State, urged China to respect human rights, but did not even name Chen Guangcheng. According to Bob Fu of China Aid Association, longtime friend of Chen, the U.S. has "abandoned" Chen.
Chinese dissident circles are also dubious about Chen's "voluntary" departure from the U.S. Embassy. In some messages on Twitter, Zeng Jinyan, a friend of Chen and his wife, says that "If Guangcheng had not left the embassy, they would have taken her and her children back home," to face threats, violence and constant surveillance.
For Zeng "Chen wants to leave China with his entire family."