Human rights group, Christian Bale honour blind Chinese activist with award in NY

The Associated Press
Associated Press

NEW YORK, N.Y. - A blind Chinese lawyer and activist whose escape from house arrest to the U.S. embassy in Beijing sparked a diplomatic crisis has been honoured by a human rights group in New York.

Human Rights First gave its 2012 Human Rights Award to Chen Guangcheng at its annual gala on Wednesday. The award was presented by actor Christian Bale, who had tried to meet the activist in China in December but was turned away by officials.

Chen's escape earlier this year to the U.S. embassy set off a spat between the United States and China before he was allowed to leave the country with his family.

Chen had documented forced abortions and other abuses by local authorities. He's now studying law at New York University.