In a surprising move, Chinese officials allowed family of forced abortion opponent Chen Guangcheng to visit him here in the United States. Chen is the activist attorney who exposed brutal campaigns of forced abortions under China’s one-child family planning policy and was jailed and confined to his home as a response.
Chen eventually escaped captivity in China by fleeing to the United States embassy.
Now, according to a report, Chen’s mother and brother have received permission from the Chinese government to visit him in United States. As Radio Free Asia reports, they were allowed to visit while other family members were denied.
The mother and brother of Chinese blind dissident Chen Guangcheng, who is based in New York, departed for the United States on Wednesday, although two of their close associates were denied permission to travel by Chinese authorities.
Chen’s mother Wang Jinxiang and brother Chen Guangfu boarded the flight in Beijing on Wednesday morning.
Chen Guangfu said on Tuesday that they planned to visit Chen, his wife, and two children in New York, where they have lived since the dissident’s daring escape from 18 months of house arrest in the eastern province of Shandong in April 2012.
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Before leaving, Chen Guangfu, who has vowed to return to China as long as his son Chen Kegui remains in jail, said there were still “many others in need of help” because of their connection to the family.
“Everyone has shown great concern for [my brother], and they all helped him when he was in trouble, and now he is free,” Chen Guangfu said before boarding the plane in Beijing on Wednesday evening.
“Now they need to help many others who are in need of help,” he said.
Chen is currently at Catholic University of America on a legal scholarship.