A blind Chinese legal activist who was suddenly allowed to leave the country has arrived in the U.S.

Chen Guangcheng, his wife, and two children arrived this evening at Newark Liberty International Airport, outside New York City. Chen had been hurriedly taken from a hospital hours earlier and put on a plane for the U.S: after Chinese authorities suddenly told him to pack and prepare to leave.

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His arrival ends nearly a month of uncertainty and years of mistreatment by local authorities for the self-taught activist. After seven years of prison and house arrest, Chen made a daring escape from his rural village in April and was given sanctuary inside the U.S. Embassy, triggering a diplomatic standoff over his fate.

An arrangement made by the Chinese government and the State Department will allow Chen to study law at New York University.

 

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