Posts tagged political asylum
Posts tagged political asylum
Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng said on Friday (May 4) that he was increasingly worried after being unable to meet U.S. Embassy officials for two days while in hospital, and repeated his desire to go to the U.S. “for a time.” The video above is in Chinese; what follows below is the English translation from the Reuters transcript.
Chen Guangcheng: “My situation is not good. I just found out that my friends were beaten up when they tried to visit me. I haven’t been able to meet with the U.S. diplomats for two days. They were not allowed to see me when they came over. The situation is very bad. My wife wanted to go shopping today, but they didn’t allow her to go, saying she must get clearance first. Then she was being followed and filmed by at least three people when she eventually went after getting permission. I really hope the Chinese government can live up to the agreement they have reached with the United States.”
Reuters reporter: “So you still want to go to the United States right?”
Chen: “Yeah, I still want to leave for a time for the time being.”
Pall cast over U.S.-China deal over Chinese dissident
In events that could deal a blow to the Obama administration, activist Chen Guangcheng appears to question whether officials had dealt with him in good faith.
BEIJING — For several hours, it appeared the U.S. and China had struck a deal that would allow Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng to walk free — and avoid a diplomatic disaster.
American officials said Wednesday that they had had obtained promises from Chinese authorities that the blind 40-year-old lawyer could live in a Chinese city of his choice and attend a university to continue his legal education. They portrayed Chen, who had dramatically fled house arrest in his village for the protection of the U.S. Embassy hundreds of miles away in Beijing, as exuberant over the deal.
But shortly after Chen was released from the embassy on Wednesday, he appeared to question whether officials had dealt with him in good faith. In a series of phone interviews from a hospital room, Chen said he had agreed to remain in China under the U.S.-devised deal only because American officials had told him that his wife would be beaten to death if he left the country.
“We’d like to rest in a place outside China,” Chen said in an interview late Wednesday with the Associated Press. He entreated U.S. officials for help in leaving for a safe refuge.
The cascade of events left U.S.-Chinese relations in a questionable state and threatened to deliver an embarrassing blow to the Obama administration.
American officials, who had hoped they were on the verge of a diplomatic triumph, denied that they had warned Chen that harm could come to his wife, and scrambled to convince skeptical Chinese activists and the world that in their six days of tense negotiations they sought only to do what Chen had wanted.
But the setback risked damage to the administration’s efforts to show itself strongly committed to the cause of human rights in China. And it threatened to prolong a diplomatic crisis with China a day before the opening of high-level talks aimed at smoothing relations on urgent issues including Iran, Syria and the global economy.
Pictured: Chinese human rights activist Chen Guangcheng shakes hands with U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke, right, as U.S. State Department legal advisor Harold Koh applauds in Beijing. (U.S. Embassy Beijing Press Office, AFP/Getty Images / May 1, 2012)
Chen Guangcheng ‘safe’ in US embassy
Blind campaigner evades about 100 guards to escape from six-year detention but fears grow for family and supporters
A blind Chinese rights activist who made a daring escape from extrajudicial detention was on Friday under the protection of the US embassy in Beijing, according to a friend, as concerns were growing about possible retribution against his family and supporters.
After more than six years of jail and house arrest, Chen Guangcheng was said to have fled under cover of darkness, evading eight checkpoints and close to 100 guards who have been watching his home in the Shandong province countryside.
A photograph released on Friday night shows him with a friend and fellow activist, Hu Jia, who said Chen was under US protection. “It is my understanding that Chen is in the safest place in China. That is the US embassy,” said Hu.
If confirmed, the incident could overshadow a planned trip to Beijing next week by the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, and treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner.
It would be the second case this year of a high-profile figure seeking refuge at a US diplomatic office in China. In February, Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun fled to the US consulate in Chengdu claiming his life was threatened because of his investigation into the death of British businessman Neil Heywood.
That incident led to a 36-hour standoff during which Chinese security personnel surrounded the consulate until Wang was turned over to an official from Beijing.
The US government neither confirmed nor denied claims that Chen was seeking asylum. An embassy spokesman, Richard Buangan, told reporters that “he did not have any information at this time.”The British embassy also said Chen’s whereabouts were a mystery. “We have followed Chen Guangcheng’s case over a long period of time and have made representations publicly and privately to Chinese authorities. We have seen today’s reports and will be following events closely,” said a spokesman.The mainstream Chinese media had not reported the escape, but in a video recording apparently made after his release, Chen issued an open call for the prime minister, Wen Jiabao, to investigate his case.
Pictured: Blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng and friend and fellow activist Hu Jia taken at an undisclosed location this month. Chen, an inspirational figure in China’s rights movement, slipped away from his well-guarded village this week. Photograph: AP