China Blackouts on Activist’s Escape

As Chinese and American diplomats work to resolve a tense diplomatic situation Monday, censors inside the communist country are blocking news of Chen Guangcheng’s defiant escape after 18 months under house arrest. Keyword searches for information about Chen on Sina Weibo, a popular Chinese microblogging site, yield a message saying that the search has been denied due to “relevant laws and policies.” Officials have also blocked references to the 1994 film The Shawshank Redemption, because some Chinese saw similarities between the tale of prison inmates and Chen’s real-life drama.