Friday, May 4, 2012

Chen Guangcheng village remains heavily guarded and under Lockdown

(Reuters) - The Chinese village that blind dissident Chen Guangcheng fled two weeks ago remained under lockdown on Friday as Chen, recovering in a Beijing hospital, worried about the fate of friends and family he left behind.

Guards chased away two Reuters reporters who attempted to enter Dongshigu village, in northeast Shandong province, on Friday afternoon. The four heavy-set guards ran slowly, yelling at the reporters as their car drove away.

Chen, a self-taught legal activist, has triggered a diplomatic crisis between China and the United States after he staged a dramatic escape from house arrest and travelled to the U.S. embassy in the capital where he took refuge for six days.

He left the embassy on Wednesday after Chinese assurances that he and his family would receive better treatment and that Beijing would investigate his treatment by Shandong officials. But he almost immediately changed his mind after hearing that his family and friends had been badly treated since his escape.

"Don't go, they're still there and inside where you can't see them. They will beat you up," said a woman shopkeeper on the road approaching the town. Read More