A blind activist, Chun Guangcheng, among China’s prominent human rights campaigners, has escaped from his home in the eastern coastal province of Shandong where he had been kept under house arrest for months, reports said on Friday.
Chun had campaigned against abortions and the pitfalls of China’s one child policy and was confined to his home since September, 2010, after being released from jail.
Chun later uploaded a video on a video-sharing platform demanding justice. The authenticity of the video could not be independently verified but reports said there was little doubt that it was Chun in it.
In the video Chen confirmed he had escaped, and asked Premier Wen Jiabao to order an investigation in the maltreatment of him and his family by local officials."It was not at all easy, but I have escaped. Everything that was said on the Internet about the violence directed against me by Linyi, I'm here to say that it was all true." Without disclosing his location or subsequent plans, he said: "I want Premier Wen to open a probe into this corrupt behavior. The money paid by the people in taxes should not be wasted by corrupt local officials to hurt us."
There was no official comment from the government on Chun’s escape from home and unsubstantiated reports that he would have taken refuge at the US Embassy in Beijing.
“Blind legal activist Chen Guangcheng, who escaped earlier this week from his home where he had been held under harsh and violent house arrest conditions since his Sept. 2010 release from prison, is 100% safe in Beijing,” ChinaAid, an US-based rights group said Friday.
The organisation added that ChinaAid was asked on Friday to convey to the outside world Chen’s intention to “fight to the end for the freedom of my family inside China. I want to live a normal life as a Chinese citizen with my family.”
Meanwhile, police have arrested one of the friends who helped drive Chen on April 22 from his home in Dongshigu village, Shuanghou town, Linyi city, Shandong province to a safe location in another province.