Blind Activist Says NYU Forcing Him Out After 'Pressure' From Academic 'Chinese Communists' NPR: Chen Guangcheng says New York University is ending his fellowship after it received "unrelenting pressure" from "Chinese communists." Chen, a human rights activist, became an international symbol of Chinese oppression after he escaped from house arrest last year and sought refuge in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. The diplomatic crisis this caused came to an artful end a few weeks after it began, when Chen announced he was coming to the United States to study. Last night, a little after midnight, Chen released a statement saying NYU had been talking about his departure "as early as August and September," a few months after he arrived. The accusation Chen is making implicitly is that the Chinese government was using a proposed NYU Shanghai campus to put pressure on the university. "The work of the Chinese Communists within academic circles in the United States is far greater than what people imagine, and some scholars have no option but to hold themselves back," Chen wrote. "Academic independence and academic freedom in the United States are being greatly threatened by a totalitarian regime." The New York Times reports that NYU denied those allegations.