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Dissenting Chinese lawyer leaves American embassy after six days

May 2, 2012

Last week Chen Guangcheng, a blind human rights lawyer, entered the U.S. Embassy in Beijing for protection after escaping from house arrest last month. After six days, Chen left the embassy of his own free will, according to CNN. He has reportedly come to an understanding with the Chinese government which will guarantee him protection.

"Mr. Chen has a number of understandings with the Chinese government about his future, including the opportunity to pursue higher education in a safe environment," said Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. "Making these commitments a reality is the next crucial task."

Clinton, who just arrived in Beijing, is planning to meet with Chinese leaders later this week, and the Chen situation was creating tension between the nations. The Los Angeles Times reports the embassy acted on "humanitarian grounds" and took Chen in to protect him and provide medical assistance. Now, he reportedly does not want protection from the U.S. and believes the Chinese government will allow him and his family to live in peace.

Those who want to find out more about Chen's story can make calls to China with calling cards and talk to their friends.

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