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Richard Gere awards blind Chinese dissident human rights prize

ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Blind Chinese civil rights activist Chen Guangcheng received the Tom Lantos Human Rights Prize on Tuesday (January 29), a prestigious award named after the late U.S. congressman to raise awareness of violations of human rights throughout the world. "China will see a transformation," Chen said after receiving the medal from actor Richard Gere at a Washington ceremony. Chen, who broke free from 19 months of house imprisonment in China in April, sought refuge in the U.S. embassy in Beijing, embarrassing the Chinese authorities and sparking a diplomatic crisis between Beijing and Washington. The 41-year-old now is studying law in New York. Gere, an advisory board member of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice, awarded the prize to Chen with the help of Lantos' wife.

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