No progress on promise to issue passport: Chen
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Last Updated: Saturday, May 12, 2012, 11:52
  
Beijing: Blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng, whose week-long stay in the US embassy here stirred up a major standoff between Beijing and Washington, has said there was no progress on government's promise to grant passport to him and his family to visit America.

When the dissident left the embassy China promised him he could apply to study abroad. But more than a week later Chen said there was no movement.

"There is no movement on his papers a week after he and his family were promised passports," Chen told BBC.

He is currently convalescing at a hospital after he came out of the US Embassy on May 2.

Chen said no Chinese officials had visited him in recent days and he was not given any forms to fill or any photograph taken.

The agreement that Chen would be able to study in the US provided a way out for diffusing the diplomatic spat caused by the incident.

"I haven't heard anything. Chinese authorities promised they would help, but I don't know if they will," he said from the hospital where he is now confined, under Chinese guard.

"Also no US diplomats have visited him in recent days either - although an embassy doctor and translator saw him a week ago," he said.

He repeated concerns about the treatment of his family and accused officials in his home village of taking "crazy revenge" on them.

In another interview to Voice of America, (VOA) Chen praised the way Chinese government handled his case.

In measured comments Chen, a self taught lawyer and an outspoken human rights activist said "to the Chinese government, I am very happy with the cool-headedness and restraint with which they've handled this case."

"I hope the Chinese government, especially the central government, can continue to take steps towards further emancipating their minds, deepen reforms, and better address social injustices," he said.

If that happens, Chen said, he believes Beijing could gain the trust of the people. He said he wants to live in peace after suffering months of house detention in his village in Shandong province.

Since his escape, his brother and sister-in-law reportedly have been detained, and Chen's lawyers say his nephew is facing "intentional homicide" charges for attacking intruders who entered his home searching for Chen.

"The important thing is that they will handle the case publicly according to Chinese law - they expressed this very clearly. But they haven't clearly said when this will begin," he said.

PTI


First Published: Saturday, May 12, 2012, 11:52


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