Chinese Advocate Released From Prison, but Confinement Continues

The New York Times reports that legal activist Chen Guangcheng has been released after a four-year sentence for advocating against abuses associated with China’s one-child policy and other human rights issues:

Mr. Chen suffered severe gastrointestinal problems while in prison and was denied Braille reading material during his entire sentence, his family has said. A Beijing lawyer and friend, Teng Biao, said in a telephone interview on Thursday that Mr. Chen remained heavily guarded at his home in Dongshigu village, near Linyi City.

“He said that he was escorted home early this morning at 6 a.m.,” he said. “There were about 30 people in the village and 8 or 9 guards in his courtyard to prevent his family from getting in touch with the outside.”

He continued: “He also told me that he suffered from chronic diarrhea in prison, and food poisoning happened very often there. He was using his relative’s cellphone, but later I heard that all of their cellphones are being blocked right now.”

Mr. Chen, who turns 39 in November, lost his sight as a child after suffering a fever and was trained in acupressure, a Chinese medical technique that is one of the few professions available to the blind.


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