Magazine article Foreign Policy

9 Chen Guangcheng: For Envisioning a China with the Rule of Law

Magazine article Foreign Policy

9 Chen Guangcheng: For Envisioning a China with the Rule of Law

Article excerpt

Legal activist | New York

A year ago, Chen Guangcheng was living under house arrest in the small Chinese village of Dongshigu, unable to travel or receive visitors and subject to constant harassment by the local authorities. Today, he is a global human rights icon, living with his family in New York's Greenwich Village and free to study and go where he pleases--though uncertain about whether he will ever be allowed to return to his homeland.

Chen, a self-taught lawyer who has been blind since early childhood, first came to prominence in 2005, when he brought a class-action lawsuit alleging that local authorities had forced women in his region to undergo forced abortions and sterilizations as part of their adherence to China's one-child policy. He was imprisoned for four years for his temerity and then detained in his home, where he faced regular physical abuse. As his fame grew within China, futile attempts to break past the phalanx of guards near his house became a popular method of protest. He soon was adopted as an international cause celebre, with everyone from U.S. Rep. Chris Smith to actor Christian Bale seeking to visit.

Chen shocked the world in April when he made a daring, next-to-impossible escape, climbing over the wall surrounding his house (breaking his foot in the process) and catching a ride some 350 miles to Beijing, where he took refuge in the U. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.