Chen Guangcheng is a charismatic, inspirational figure for civil liberties lawyers who have fought to enforce the rights that are enshrined in China’s Constitution but often breached by the authoritarian government and police. Chen’s harassment and then imprisonment in 2006 after documenting forced abortions around his hometown marked the start of a government crackdown on activist lawyers.
Chen, 39, is scheduled to be freed Thursday from the Linyi City prison, said his wife, who planned to take their two young children and brother to meet him. With a lack of information from prison authorities and high security around their home, she said, it was difficult to plan a homecoming.
“If we don’t even have freedom, then there’s no way to make any kind of plans. We’ll just see how his health is doing. That’s all,” Yuan Weijing said in a terse telephone interview, noting that her conversations were being monitored.
Read more about Chen Guangcheng via CDT.