Friend: Police note blind activist's escape legal

May 1, 2012 - 3:48 AM
China Blind Lawyer

This undated photo provided by the China Aid Association shows blind Chinese legal activist Chen Guangchen, left, with his son, Chen Kerui, center, and his wife Yuan Weijing in Shandong province, China. Chen, a well-known dissident who angered authorities in rural China by exposing forced abortions, made a surprise escape from house arrest on April 22, 2012, into what activists say is the protection of U.S. diplomats in Beijing, posing a delicate diplomatic crisis for both governments. (AP Photo/www.ChinaAid.org)

BEIJING (AP) — A friend of blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng says police have acknowledged to him that Chen did not break any laws by escaping from house arrest and apparently entering the U.S. Embassy.

Beijing activist Hu Jia said Tuesday that two police officers who questioned him for 24 hours over the weekend noted that Chen, as well as two friends who helped him flee his guarded farmhouse in eastern China more than a week ago, did not act illegally.

Hu cites police as saying the three individuals are free citizens who are not facing any legal trouble for Chen's escape.

The police acknowledgment is an indication that Chen's troubles with the authorities have primarily been about revenge by local leaders who were angered by his exposing of forced abortions.