In the end, the departure came faster than expected. "I feel like everything is very sudden," chen guangcheng told a friend on the phone just before he boarded the united airlines plane to new york.
The U.S. Department of defense confirmed that chen guangcheng had left china with his family to study in the united states. "We express our gratitude for the way we were able to resolve this matter," spokeswoman victoria nuland said, according to the u.S. Embassy.
"After seven years of persecution and brutality, today is a good day for chen guangcheng and his family," bob fu of the u.S.-based human rights group chinaaid told the dpa news agency.
The civil rights activist wanted to enroll in law school at the university of new york (NYU), reported bob fu, who had campaigned hard for the activist and spoken to him six times on the phone before the departure of flight UA88 alone. "Then chen guangcheng wants to take a vacation with his family and rest."Before departure, the activist was "in a good mood" and "enthusiastic". But chen guangcheng is still concerned about the fate of his remaining relatives.
The departure was expected next week at the earliest. Although chen guangcheng had only applied for his travel passport on wednesday, officials suddenly showed up at chaoyang hospital and told him to pack his bags and prepare to leave. Since leaving the U.S. Embassy, chen guangcheng has lived with his wife and children in the hospital, largely isolated from the outside world. He was treated there for a fub injury he sustained during his escape.
Chen guangcheng and his family received their passports only at the airport. "There were no security guards left, only doctors and nurses," he told his friend, civil rights lawyer jiang tianyong, by phone before boarding the plane.
On 22. April chen guangcheng had escaped from house arrest in his home village of dongshigu in the eastern chinese province of shandong to the u.S. Embassy in beijing with the help of friends. This triggered a diplomatic crisis that also overshadowed the visit of U.S. Secretary of state hillary clinton to beijing. He left the U.S. Mission on 2. May initially be under pledges to be reunited with his family and allowed to study in china.
But he began to have doubts about the chinese promises when he learned of massive threats against his family. Fearing for his safety, he decided to leave the country, which has now been made possible with the help of the u.S. The civil rights lawyer had made a name for himself since the end of the 1990s with his work on behalf of victims of the will to power. Despite being blind, he had taught himself law with the help of his wife.
Chen guangcheng was called a "barfub lawyer" in reference to the "barfub doctors" who moved across the country with simple medical knowledge in revolutionary china. He also helped victims of forced abortions in the city of linyi and was therefore a thorn in the side of the authorities. In 2005, chen guangcheng was sentenced to four years and three months in prison. Since the expiration of a prison sentence in september 2010, he and his wife had been held in his home and severely abused by their guards.