Star roughed up in bid to visit Chinese blind activist

December 16, 2011 07:25
1 minute read.

BEIJING - Hollywood actor Christian Bale was roughed up by Chinese security guards as he attempted to visit a blind legal activist whose detention has sparked a domestic and international outcry, CNN reported on Friday.

Bale, who plays crime-fighting superhero Batman, and the camera crew from CNN were jostled by men in plainclothes from Dongshigu village in eastern Shandong province, where activist Chen Guangcheng has been under house arrest for 15 months, according to a video released by CNN on its website.

"Why can I not visit this man?" Bale asked several security officers, while they were pushing him.

"You know, I'm not being brave doing this," Bale told CNN. "The local people who are standing up to the authorities and insisting on going to visit Chen and his family and getting beaten up for it, and my understanding, getting detained for it and everything. I want to support what they are doing."

CNN said the guards followed the network's van for more than half an hour.

The fate of Chen, a charismatic, self-schooled advocate who has campaigned against forced abortions, has become a test of wills, pitting the ruling Communist Party's crackdown on dissent against rights activists who have rallied around his cause and that of artist Ai Weiwei.

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