The fate of blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng is causing concern after he telephoned a US congressional hearing and asked for help to leave China with his family.
He is still being held in a Beijing hospital sealed off by Chinese police.
After staying in the US Embassy for a week he had initially accepted China’s assurance that he and his family would be safe if they stayed in the country.
However in his phone call Chen said he now fears for the the safety of his family. .
White House press secretary Jay Carney says the US State Department is continuing to talk to Chen and his wife.
Chinese officials have accused the US of interfering in China’s domestic affairs and demanded an apology for letting Chen stay at the American Embassy.
Lawyers and US diplomats have been prevented from visiting Chen in hospital.