Chen Guangcheng the 40 year old Chinese civil and human rights activist on issues in rural areas of the People’s Republic of China will be permitted to apply to study abroad, in attempts to resolve the standoff over his future. Chen blind from an early age and self-taught in the law, is frequently described as a “barefoot lawyer” who advocates for women’s rights and the poor. He is best known for exposing alleged abuses in official family planning policy, often involving claims of violence and forced abortions. Chen escaped from house arrest in Shandong province with the help of his supporters from under the noses of dozens of guards, fleeing to safety in the US embassy. Chinese authorities upset about the United States harbouring the critic of its government, had created a sensitive situation potentially threatening to become a major diplomatic issue. To defuse the issue, Chen was subsequently taken from the embassy, delivered to a hospital, and a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, Liu Weimin stated, “Chen Guangcheng is currently being treated in hospital. If he wants to study abroad, he can apply through normal channels to the relevant departments in accordance with the law, just like any other Chinese citizen.” Implying his potential exile to the USA where Chen had been offered a fellowship by an American university.


Inspired by The Daily Beast image source US State Dept