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Chinese dissident phones US Congress

  • Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng has telephoned a US Congressional hearing in a bid to aid his attempt to leave China with his family.

    Chen, currently in a Beijing hospital sealed off by Chinese police, said he feared for the safety of his family.

    He spent nearly a week at the US embassy but left after initially accepting assurances by Chinese authorities of his safety.

    Last month, the 40-year-old self-taught lawyer and activist escaped house arrest in the eastern Chinese village of Shandong and fled to Beijing.

    Chen had been confined to his home following a four-year prison sentence over his legal support for victims of forced abortions and sterilizations.