To protect his family, the blind legal activist agreed to leave the safety of the US embassy and stay in China, a trusted friend of Chen Guangcheng told the Monitor.
“Chen Guangcheng called me and asked for help, he wanted outsiders to help him,” Zeng Jinyan told the Monitor in a brief telephone interview. “He said that at least he wanted his whole family to leave China.”
RELATED 6 famous dissidents in China
Earlier in the day, Mr. Chen appeared to have won a signal victory, leaving the US embassy, where he had sought shelter last week, for a medical check-up amid claims by US officials that he would be free to live and study in China.
Chen had left the embassy “in a way that reflected our choices and our values,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. Chen had left “of his own volition” a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said.
“Guangcheng did not want to leave the embassy but he had no choice,” she claimed in one post, since “if he did not Yuan Weijing [his wife] would be sent back to Shandong” where she and her husband have been under illegal house arrest for the past 19 months, suffering repeated beatings.