U.S. Says Blind China Activist's Visa Is Ready

By: CBS/AP (Posted by Kion Hudson)
By: CBS/AP (Posted by Kion Hudson)

(CBS/AP)-- The State Department says U.S. visas for Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng and his family are ready for them to travel to America once Beijing gives the green light.

Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Tuesday the visa processing was completed more than a week ago for Chen, his wife and two children, to allow him to study in New York.

Chen, a blind legal activist, has been at a Beijing hospital after his flight from house arrest to the U.S. Embassy in late April, triggering a diplomatic crisis.

China has said it would accept Chen's application for travel documents to leave the country. Chen is awaiting that permission.

Republican Rep. Chris Smith described Chen's status as "de facto house arrest" as he and his family are barred visitors or from leaving the hospital.

Chen spoke by phone to a U.S. congressional hearing on Tuesday and complained his elder brother and nephew had both been beaten by Chinese authorities since he fled house arrest in late April.

Chen also said a charge of homicide brought against his nephew was "trumped up."

Rights activist Bob Fu, who translated Chen's comments, earlier testified that Chen's nephew had injured several people who had burst into his home without warrants.

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