Weeks after a dramatic escape from house arrest, a perilous race across hundreds of miles, and an international donnybrook that strained relations between America and China, a United Airlines flight bearing activist Chen Guangcheng took off from Beijing bound for the U.S. on Saturday. In a phone call to friends earlier Saturday, Chen reportedly voiced concerns about the safety of the friends and relatives he’s leaving behind. The 40-year-old human rights attorney and his family were taken from the hospital where Chen had sought medical treatment after leaving the U.S. Embassy to Beijing International Airport. Chen and his family have business-class seats on the flight to Newark, which took off at about 5:30 p.m. local time.
FLIGHT Handout, U.S. Embassy Beijing Press Office / AP Photo