Blind Chinese activist Chen seeks action against Beijing
Washington: Blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng has appealed to Washington to investigate his case and protect his family at home.
Speaking to reporters following a meeting with the US Congressmen, Chen accused Beijing of not fulfilling the promises it made to him when he left China.
Chen sparked a diplomatic row between the US and China when he escaped house arrest and fled to the US embassy in Beijing in April this year.
The blind Chinese campaigner, who arrived in the US in May after negotiations, was jailed after exposing abuses in China's one-child policy.
The 40-year-old activist, who moved with his wife and two children, has expressed serious concerns about the friends and family he left behind in China.
Chen, whose meeting with the US Congressmen is his highest-level contact yet with the US government, has expressed concern over the safety of his nephew who was arrested soon after he fled China's eastern province of Shandong for Beijing.
Chen’s nephew Chen Kegui has reportedly been arrested and charged with manslaughter after a dispute with local officials who came looking for the dissident the escape from house arrest.
"The Chinese central government explicitly promised me that it would thoroughly investigate the extended oppression and abuse that I endured in Shandong province," Chen was quoted as saying.
"The government further promised to provide for the security of my family. However, it has been more than three months and I have not received any news on the progress of this investigation or even whether it has commenced," he added.
Chen, who met the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Republican John Boehner, and his Democratic counterpart, Nancy Pelosi, said that he wanted Washington to pressure China to improve its human rights record.
Chen was quoted as telling the US lawmakers that the human rights situation was deteriorating in China but that change was inevitable as citizens and civil society make their voices heard.
"I sincerely hope that the United States and all other nations that embrace the fundamental values of constitutionalism, democracy, freedom and the rule of law will support and assist with a smooth transition in China," Chen said.