Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Chen Guangcheng dismisses Chinese media attacks

Beijing (CNN) -- Reiterating his deep concern about the safety of members of his family, the Chinese activist at the center of a recent diplomatic storm on Tuesday dismissed personal attacks against him in state media as "utter nonsense."

"It's painting black as white," Chen Guangcheng told CNN by phone from his hospital bed in Beijing, where he is undergoing medical examinations and treatment after escaping more than 18 months of house arrest in eastern China some two weeks ago.

The prominent human rights activist, who is blind, created an international crisis when he took refuge at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. He left the embassy after six days for a local hospital but has since made several pleas to be allowed to leave China, including a call to a U.S. congressional hearing in Washington.

Chen said Tuesday that he has daily phone conversations with U.S. embassy officials about his condition -- including with Ambassador Gary Locke on Monday -- though the Americans are still barred from regularly entering his heavily guarded hospital building. Read More