Chen Guangcheng is a blind self-made lawyer and a human rights activist. In 2005 he helped villagers to start legal proceedings against the local authorities of Linyi City who, as part of the one-child policy, had forced thousands of women to have abortions and sterilisations, in violation of national Chinese law.
Guangcheng was arrested and sentenced four years to jail in August 2006. In the Linyi City Prison he was beaten by fellow inmates, at the instructions of the prison guards. Despite his injuries, he was denied medical treatment. In protest, he then started a hunger strike.
Guangcheng was released as early September 2010, after serving a four-year prison term. Since his release Guangcheng has been kept under house arrest and his house is being watched. After Guangcheng had published a video in which he and his wife told from their home about their living conditions (see the L4L YouTube channel), they were severely beaten.
Three leading human rights activists in China, Jiang Tianyong, Tang Jitian and Teng Biao, who had met to discuss the situation of Guangcheng, were arrested on 16 February 2011, three days after this meeting.
On 19 May 2012, Chen Guangcheng arrived in the United States, together with his wife and two children. On arrival at the New York University, where he will study law, he said he will continue to work to promote justice and equality in China.
The blind Chinese human rights lawyer escaped from his heavily guarded home where he had been under house arrest since he was released from prison in September 2010 on 22 April 2012.
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