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Sun May 20, 2012 12:46PM
 Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng after his arrival at the New York University Village apartment complex in Manhattan in New York, on May 19, 2012.

Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng after his arrival at the New York University Village apartment complex in Manhattan in New York, on May 19, 2012.

A blind human rights activist, who had stirred political controversy by escaping house arrest in China, has now arrived in the US with his family. Chen Guangcheng left China after authorities allowed him to leave a hospital in Beijing, where he had been receiving treatment. Chen caused a diplomatic stir last month when he sought refuge in the US Embassy after escaping house arrest. He had been imprisoned and under house arrest for seven years. Chen angered local authorities by calling for disabled and farmers’ rights and fighting against forced abortions in his rural community. Beijing has demanded Washington to apologize for keeping the activist. However, the US has refused to issue an apology. After his arrival, the activist spoke outside New York University to his supporters. He also thanked the Chinese authorities for dealing with the situation with restraint and calm. The activist told the reporters that he has left Vhina because his health was deteriorating, stressing that he was ‘not happy’ about leaving and that he was worried about retaliation against his extended family back home. Chen is now going to take up a fellowship at the university's School of Law. SZH/PKH
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