Chen, whos 40, was delivered Wednesday to a Beijing hospital, where he was treated for a foot hed injured when fleeing. Reporters who tried to speak with him there caught only a fleeting glimpse of Chen, a small man in a white shirt and sunglasses, being pushed down a corridor in a wheelchair. A large number of security officers then shoved the group of journalists into a holding pen fashioned with gates and benches theyd dragged over and took photographs of their identification cards before pushing them into elevators.
Chen had been sentenced to 51 months in prison in 2006 on trumped-up charges of damaging property and assembling a crowd to block traffic after hed campaigned on behalf of women whod undergone forced sterilizations and abortions amid a local government campaign to enforce Chinas one-child population control policy.
Upon being released from prison in September 2010, Chen was placed under home detention even though he hadnt been charged with any additional crimes.
After news of Chens departure from the U.S. Embassy became public, the Chinese state news wire Xinhua said Wednesday that its government was demanding an apology from the Americans. It quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin as saying that, "What the U.S. side has done has interfered in the domestic affairs of China, and the Chinese side will never accept it.
Many were dubious of the arrangement from the start.
There is good reason for skepticism about whether the Chinese government is both willing and able to deliver on the conditional release of Chen Guangcheng from U.S. diplomatic protection to a safe location in China, particularly since neither side has identified that location or defined how it will be safe for Chen and his family, Phelim Kine, senior Asia researcher for Human Rights Watch, said not long after the deal was announced.
Researcher Joyce Zhang in Beijing and Lesley Clark and Matthew Schofield in Washington contributed to this article.