Beijing’s handling of blind legal activist Chen Guangcheng‘s purported escape to the United States embassy in Beijing will test its commitment to improving human rights and adherence to the rule of law, activists and lawyers say.
Yang Jianli, a US-based mainland dissident, said Chen’s ordeal was a typical case of human rights abuse and violation of the law.
After Chen escaped from his house arrest, he appealed to Premier Wen Jiabao in an online video to punish officials responsible for assaults on him and his wife. Chen also asked for his family to be protected from abuse by officials angered by his escape.
“Now this case is put in front of Wen Jiabao and he is put on the spot,” Yang said. “It is a very decisive and critical moment, a watershed event.”
Wen has often spoken publicly on the urgency of enacting political reforms and the importance…
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