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Blind Chinese Activist 'Flees' House Arrest, Releases Video

Chen Guangcheng

Chen Guangcheng

One of China's best-known dissidents has escaped from house arrest and released a video addressed to Prime Minister Wen Jiabao.

In the video, posted on the Internet, Chen Guangcheng asks the authorities to investigate the beating up of his family members, that the safety of his family be ensured, and that corruption in China be dealt with.

Rights activists said Chen slipped out of his home in the village of Dongshigu and left the eastern province of Shandong on April 22.

There are also unconfirmed rumors that Chen, who is blind, is at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, which has not commented.

Chen had been under house arrest for nearly 20 months following his release after serving four years in jail.

He is known for having exposed forced abortions and sterilizations of thousands of women in Shandong.

He has also advised farmers in land disputes and campaigned for improved treatment of the disabled.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP