China jails blind rights activist for over 4 years – Chris Buckley

 Time Daily 2006 0605 Heroes Guangcheng0508

From Reuters:

A Chinese court jailed a blind human rights campaigner for four years and three months on Thursday, state media announced, prompting other activists to warn of a clampdown on China’s “rights defenders.”

, who was tried last Friday without his own lawyers present, drew international attention last year by accusing officials in east China’s Shandong province of enforcing late-term abortions in a population control drive. [Full text]

Documents about Chen’s case (in Chinese) are available on the blog of his defense lawyer, Xu Zhiyong. See also a comment on the sentencing from the Chinese Law Prof blog and TIME 100: The People Who Shape Our World –Chen Guangcheng: A Blind Man with Legal Vision by Hannah Beech.

From Chinese Law Prof Blog:

If further proof of the complicity of the central authorities in Chen’s case were needed, try searching for his name (ÈôàÂÖâËØö) on Baidu (www.baidu.com): you get no results, along with a helpful message telling you that your keywords “may have content not in accordance with relevant laws and regulations” (ÊÇ®ËæìÂÖ•ÁöÑÂÖ≥ÈîÆËØçÂèØËÉΩÊ∂âÂèä‰∏çÁ¨¶ÂêàÁõ∏ÂÖ≥Ê≥ïÂæãÊ≥ïËßÑÁöÑÂÜÖÂÆπ). Interestingly, the results for both Google.cn and Google.com are very similar (they are headed by a nasty – and of course anonymous – character assassination which starts with the claim that because Chen is blind, he hasn’t seen the great changes taking place in China!).

陈光诚

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