LEAD: China dissident writer arrives in US after virtual house arrest
Jan 12, 2012, 11:25 GMT
Beijing - Chinese dissident writer and unregistered Christian church member Yu Jie on Thursday said he had arrived in the United States after leaving China.
'I have just arrived in the United States,' Yu said in an email. 'I will answer your questions after I have rested for a day.'
Supporters and rights groups said Yu's family had accompanied him on a flight from Beijing Wednesday.
'Yue Jie and his family left China yesterday afternoon,' Wang Yi, a friend of Yu and the pastor of an unregistered church in the south-western city of Chengdu, said Thursday.
'I think it's not an easy choice for him [to leave China],' Wang said.
Another source who spoke to him recently said Yu had decided to leave China because he felt unable to work under the conditions imposed on him by Chinese authorities.
Police had held Yu, 38, under virtual house arrest since they seized him at Beijing's Capital Airport when he returned from a trip to the US in October 2010.
The police gave no reason for confining him to his Beijing home, saying only that they were instructed to do so by 'higher authorities,' Yu said at the time.
'I prefer not to mention what happened to him since October 2010, but I think he will speak out himself later,' Wang said.
'All I can say is that he was under monitoring by police and cameras, his wife was not allowed to work and his child lived with Yu's parents in Chengdu,' he said. 'The whole family had no freedom and couldn't live a normal life.'
The police sent Yu from Beijing to Chengdu, his hometown, at 'sensitive periods,' such as the holding of China's annual parliament in March and the 22nd anniversary on June 4 of the Communist Party's brutal military crackdown on the 1989 democracy movement, Wang said.
Wang said Yu was also tortured during his recent detention. 'I think he will let us know the details later about how he suffered that brutal torture,' he said. A church in Washington would give Yu initial housing in the US, he said, adding that he believed police officers had accompanied the family to the Beijing airport Wednesday.
China's censors had banned Yu, 38, from publishing since 2004, but he was allowed to distribute his work in Hong Kong.
The writer shot to fame in 1998 with a best-selling collection of essays, Fire and Ice.
He was an active member of an unregistered house church in Beijing, which led to an invitation to meet former US president George W Bush in 2006.
Yu was also a founder of the independent Chinese branch of PEN International, a writers support group.
His book, China's Best Actor: Wen Jiabao, published in Hong Kong in 2010, depicted the Chinese premier as a politician who had created a false image of himself as a reformer and 'people's premier.'
Yu was one of the 303 leading dissidents, scholars and activists who issued the Charter '08 for democratic reform in December 2008.
His detention in October 2010 coincided with the award of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo, another dissident writer who was one of the organizers of Charter '08. Liu was sentenced to 11 years in prison for subversion in December 2009.
Read more about US