Chen Guangcheng, a blind Chinese lawyer, confirmed his dramatic escape from house arrest and appealed to Premier Wen Jiabao to keep his family safe, in a video posted online on Friday.

In the video, Chen -- speaking with obvious emotion in a dark room in an undisclosed location -- also revealed the names of severalgovernment officials he claims had beaten him and his wife, and made his son's life a misery.

"Even though I am now free, I am still concerned because my family -- my mother, my wife, my child are still in their hands," he said.

"They have hurt them for a long time, and they could enact crazed revenge on them because of my departure. This revenge could be completely unrestrained."

Chen -- who won worldwide acclaim for his campaigning on forced sterilisations and late-term abortions under China's "one-child" policy -- escaped from his village in the eastern province of Shandong on Sunday.

He had been under house arrest along with his wife and young son since he was released from a four-year jail sentence in September 2010.

In the video posted on YouTube Chen called on Wen to punish government and police officials he claimed had made his life a misery during the 19 months he spent under house arrest.

Bob Fu, a US-based activist who is in close contact with Chen, told AFP the blind lawyer was now in a "100 percent safe" location in Beijing.