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Chinese activist's brother flees guarded village

BEIJING (AP) -- The brother of Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng has fled his closely guarded village to seek legal advice Thursday in Beijing on how to protect his son from what their supporters call retaliation by local officials, an attorney said.Chen sought protection of U.S. diplomats last month after escaping virtual house arrest in his hometown, sparking a standoff between Beijing and Washington and highlighting the extralegal measures taken by local Chinese officials to suppress dissent.The two countries resolved the standoff by agreeing to let Chen and his immediate family travel to the U.S. so that he could attend a university, but his supporters say the legal activist's extended family in Shandong province faces a continued crackdown.His nephew, Chen Kegui, has been arrested and accused of attempted murder during a clash last month with local officials who burst into his home looking for Chen after his escape.Chen Guangfu - the activist's brother and the father of Chen Kegui - met Thursday in Beijing with attorney Ding Xikui to discuss his son's case, the lawyer said.Ding says he and another attorney were authorized by Chen Kegui's wife to defend him. However, police at the Yinan detention center where Chen Kegui is being have told the lawyers that government-appointed attorneys will be representing him instead.Ding said Chen Guangfu wanted to meet with him to affirm that he, too, wanted Ding to represent his son, not the government-appointed lawyers.\We are still in negotiations with the local authorities\ on Chen Kegui's case, Ding said, adding that Chen Guangfu also wanted to meet his daughter-in-law who is staying in Beijing.Two other rights lawyers said that Chen Guangfu called them once he left the village. One of them, Jiang Tianyong, said Chen Guangfu described the security situation in his hometown as having become tighter since Chen Guangcheng escaped the village a month ago.\There are more people