A dissident in China; The power of one
China's blind activist Chen Guangcheng
Challenge for US after escape by blind activist
Many in the international community fear that raising human rights issues will anger the regime, endangering foreign access to China or to Chinese organizations. However, the party regime is more worried about international, open criticism than it lets on, and targeted, unified statements from the outside have an impact. When I was in captivity, I saw that vocal criticism from the West led to improvements in my treatment.
Chen Guangcheng is a blind, self-taught lawyer who has defended the rights of farmers, people with disabilities and women subjected to abuse. He was also active in exposing forced abortions and sterilizations in and around Linyi City in Shangdong Province. As a result of his human rights activities he was imprisoned in 2006 and then held prisoner in his home on his release until 2012, when he escaped house arrest and found sanctuary in the US embassy in Beijing. He is currently living and working in the US.