U.S. envoy appeals for release of blind activist

? A senior U.S. diplomat said she appealed to Chinese officials Thursday to release a blind activist who was jailed after recording complaints from villagers about forced abortions.

Ellen Sauerbrey, a U.S. assistant secretary of state, said Chinese officials did not make any commitments about activist Chen Guangcheng.

Chen, who lives in the eastern province of Shandong, was arrested after recording accounts by villagers who complained of such abuses. He was accused of illegal assembly and intent to damage public property – charges his supporters have said were fabricated in retaliation for his activism.