(Los Angeles Times) When Bob Fu’s cellphone rang halfway through a congressional hearing concerning detained Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng, all the West Texas pastor had to do was gesture for the congressman in charge, Rep. Christopher H. Smith, to disappear with him into a nearby room.

Soon after, Smith, a Republican from New Jersey, returned with a stunning announcement: “Bob Fu has made contact with Chen Guangcheng in his hospital room.”

Smith invited Fu to the dais, where Fu knelt next to the congressman, put Chen on speakerphone from Beijing and translated.

“I want to make the request to have my freedom of travel guaranteed,” Fu translated for Chen.

Fu then explained: “He said he wants to come to the U.S. for some time of rest. He has not had any rest in the past 10 years.”

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