May 3, 2012
More details have come out regarding the dramatic escape of blind Chinese Christian human rights activist Chen Guangcheng from imprisonment and torture in his own home, WORLD News Service reports. Chen, who was jailed and tortured for more than four years for fighting China's one-child policy and exposing more than 100,000 forced abortions, was then held under house arrest for 20 more months before escaping April 22 and traveling 370 miles to Beijing, where he sought asylum at the U.S. Embassy. But how did he make it there? According to Reggie Littlejohn of Women's Rights Without Frontiers, who has been fighting for Chen's release, "Chen spent months on his back, pretending to be near death, so his guards would relax their vigilance. Then, on April 22, with exquisite timing, he scaled a wall and ran for his life." Chen had been raised in the village where he was held, so he could navigate from memory; however, he took several wrong turns and fell in a river because of his blindness. But a Chinese woman named He Peirong "drove 20 hours to meet Chen and fooled the village guards into letting her in. She disguised herself as a courier. Then she drove Chen another eight hours -- still wet from his fall in the river -- to safety in Beijing. Their plan was so masterfully executed that the authorities did not realize Chen was gone for four days." Despite the success of the escape plan, the story is far from over, Littlejohn said. China's Communist Party violently detained Chen's older brother and nephew, and his wife, children and mother are also at risk. He Peirong was also detained and she hasn't been heard from in a week; her friends fear for her safety.