Dissident activist Chen Guangcheng’s mother and oldest brother have been granted visas to visit him in the US, where he has lived since shortly after escaping house arrest in China last year. The brother, Chen Guangfu, said on Saturday that he and his mother, Wang Jinxiang, were given the visas on Thursday and will soon travel to New York, where Chen Guangcheng lives with his wife and two children. “Mum has always wanted to see Guangcheng, but it is not likely for him to return home for the time being. I am fulfilling her wish,” Chen Guangfu said of his mother, who is around 80 years old. The activist, who is blind, sparked a diplomatic crisis in April last year when he escaped house arrest in his rural town in Shandong province and sought refuge in the US Embassy in Beijing. Officials later allowed him move to the US After a one-year fellowship at New York University, Chen now is sponsored by the Catholic University of America, the Witherspoon Institute and the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice.