After more than six years of jail and house arrest, Chen Guangcheng was said to have fled under cover of darkness, evading eight checkpoints and close to 100 guards who have been watching his home in the Shandong province countryside.
A photograph released on Friday night shows him with a friend and fellow activist, Hu Jia, who said Chen was under US protection. "It is my understanding that Chen is in the safest place in China. That is the US embassy," said Hu.
If confirmed, the incident could overshadow a planned trip to Beijing next week by the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, and treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner. --
According to the US-based human rights group China Aid, Chen was "100% safe" in Beijing. But it said the activist He Peirong, one of the people who helped Chen flee, had been arrested at her home in Nanjing on Friday morning.
He, who is said to have been in close contact with the Chen family, had earlier told CNN that Chen's hands were trembling, but his spirits were high. She said he was injured in the escape.
Civilized people all over the world should never forget, that communist China´s leaders - no matter how "western" they look in their smart business suits - also are the ones who administer the system of state sponsored slavery - the Laogai - consisting of more than 1,000 slave labour prisons, with more than five million prisoners. Tens of thousands of these slave workers are political or religious prisoners.