27 Apr 2012

China dissident Chen Guangcheng escapes house arrest

One of China's best known dissidents, Chen Guangcheng, has escaped from house arrest and released a video addressed to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. In it he makes three demands, including one that Mr Wen investigate what Mr Chen calls the brutal beating up of his family members. Rights activists say Mr Chen slipped out of his home in Dongshigu town in Shandong province on Sunday. His whereabouts are unclear with some reports that he is in Beijing. Mr Chen had been under house arrest since he was released from a four-year jail sentence in 2010.


In the video posted online by Boxun, a Chinese dissident news website based in the United States, Mr Chen asks that:

  • Premier Wen investigate and prosecute local officials Mr Chen says beat up his family members
  • The safety of his family be ensured
  • Corruption in general in China be dealt with and punished according to the law

The Chinese authorities have come under international criticism for their treatment of him. At one point his daughter was barred from school. Many sympathisers who have tried to visit his home say they have been beaten up.

BBC News