The Chinese government has blocked internet searches related to blind activist Chen Guangcheng, Asia One reports on Monday.
Searches including his name or the name of the movie "Shawshank Redemption", which tells the story of a convict's escape from an American prison have been blocked.
Chen Guangcheng, a prominent Chinese rights activist, escaped his house on April 22 where is had been kept under arrest for almost 20 months. He is now at the centre of a diplomatic storm between Washington and Beijing as he is now believed to have found refuge at the US embassy in Beijing. The embassy or the State department have yet confirmed the information.
His friend and fellow activist Hu Jia told the Daily Telegraph that he was certain the 40-year-old activist was inside the US embassy.
Searches for Chen's name and the Chinese terms for "blind person", "embassy", and Chen's home village of "Dongshigu" were all blocked on Sina Weibo, the Chinese Twitter. Searches for "UA898", a United Airlines direct flight from Beijing to Washington was also blocked after many suggested on the internet that Chen would be granted asylum in the US, Asia One explains.
Internet censorship is widely used by China's ruling Communist Party to block content deemed embarrassing to the government.
Early April, the Chinese government blocked internet searches related to the Bo Xilai affair. Bo Xilai's wife is suspected to have killed Neil Heywood, a British businessman. The Bo Xilai affair is the biggest political scandal to shake Chinese political class since the 1980s.