Chen Guangcheng

Knowledge Identifier: +Chen_Guangcheng


Chen Guangcheng

Chinese civil rights activist who worked on human rights issues in rural areas of the People's Republic of China add

Category: Politics

Born in 1971.

Countries: China (69%), United States (19%), United Kingdom (8%)

Main connections: Christian Bale, The New York Times, Chris Smith (New Jersey politician)

Linked to: Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, New York University, Time




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Chen Guangcheng was born in 1971 add something


A paper mill constructed in 1988 had been dumping toxic wastewater into the Meng river, destroying crops and harming wildlife add something


In 1989, at the age of 18, Chen began attending school as a grade one student at the Elementary School for the Blind in Linyi city add something


Though Chinese central authorities have sought to curb the coercive enforcement of the one-child policy since 1990 by replacing measures such as forced abortions and sterilizations with a system of financial incentives and fines, Chen found that coercive practices remained widespread, and he documented numerous cases of abuse add something


In 1991, Chen's father gave him a copy of "The Law Protecting the Disabled," which elaborated on the legal rights and protections in place for disabled persons in the PRC. add something


In 1994, he enrolled at the Qingdao High School for the Blind, where he studied until 1998 add something


Chen's first petitioned authorities in 1996, when he traveled to Beijing to complain about taxes that were incorrectly being levied on his family add something


In 1997, the leaders of Chen's village began implementing a land use plan that gave authorities control over 60 percent of land, which they rented out at high cost to the villages add something


Chen began attracting international media attention for his civil rights activism in the early 2000s add something


In 2000, Chen returned from his studies in Nanjing to his village of Dongshigu in an effort to confront environmental pollution add something


Chen met his wife, Yuan Weijing, in 2001, after listening to a radio talk show add something


In March 2002, Newsweek magazine ran a cover story on Chen and the "barefoot lawyer" movement in China, detailing his advocacy on behalf of villagers and the disabled add something


Yuan, who had been working as an English teacher at the time of the marriage, left her job in 2003 in order to assist her husband in his legal work add something


In November 2004, Chen acted on behalf of villagers to file a lawsuit in the Qi'nan County Court against the local Public Security Bureau for negligence add something


His profile rose further in 2005 when he filed a landmark class-action suit taking on abuses of the one-child policy add something


In 2005, Chen filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of women from Linyi against the city's family planning staff add something


In 2005, Chen gained international recognition for organising a landmark class-action lawsuit against authorities in Linyi, Shandong, for what was claimed to be excessive enforcement of the one-child policy add something


The case was accepted, and proceedings began in early 2005 add something


After Chen refused negotiations with local officials to cease his activism, Linyi authorities placed him under effective house arrest beginning in September 2005 add something


As a result of this lawsuit, Chen was placed under house arrest from September 2005 to March 2006, with a formal arrest in June 2006 add something


But local authorities in Linyi retaliated against Chen, placing him under house arrest in September 2005 and embarking on a campaign to undermine his reputation; the Linyi officials portrayed him as working for "foreign anti-China forces", pointing out that he had received foreign funding for his advocacy on behalf of the disabled add something


In September 2005, the Commission announced that several Linyi officials had been detained add something


On 7 September 2005, while Chen was in Beijing to publicize his class action lawsuit against the Linyi city family planning staff, he was reportedly abducted by security agents from Linyi and held for 38 hours add something


Weiquan movement - In 2005, Chen Guangcheng filed a class action case against family planning officials in Linyi, Shandong, who were accused of subjecting thousands of women to sterilization or forced abortions


As a result of Chen's trial, British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett selected his case for the cover of the British government's 2006 human rights report, stating concern over the handling of Chen's case and calling for the Chinese government "to prove its commitment to building rule of law add something


Xinhua, the news agency of the Chinese government, stated that on 5 February 2006, Chen instigated others "to damage and smash cars belonging to the Shuanghou Police Station and the town government" as well as attack local government officials add something


Chen was removed from his house in March 2006 and was formally detained in June 2006 by Yinan county officials add something


He was scheduled to stand trial on 17 July 2006 on charges of destruction of property and assembling a crowd to disrupt traffic, but this was delayed at the request of the prosecution add something


With only a few days' notice, authorities rescheduled Chen's trial for 18 August 2006 add something


On 24 August 2006, Chen was sentenced to four years and three months for "damaging property and organising a mob to disturb traffic" add something


On 24 August 2006, Chen was sentenced to four years and three months for "damaging property and organizing a mob to disturb traffic" add something


On 30 November 2006, Yinan County court upheld Chen's sentence, Following the trial, Amnesty International declared him to be a prisoner of conscience, "jailed solely for his peaceful activities in defence of human rights" add something


Chen is a 2007 laureate of the Ramon Magsaysay Award and in 2006 was named to the "Time" 100 add something


In 2007, Chen Guangcheng was named one of the "Time" 100, "Time"'s annual list of "100 men and women whose power, talent or moral example is transforming our world" add something


The National Endowment for Democracy honored Chen with the 2008 Democracy Award add something


After his release from prison in 2010, Chen was placed under house arrest and was closely monitored by security forces add something


He was released from prison in 2010 after serving his full sentence, but remained under house arrest or "soft detention" at his home in Dongshigu Village add something


In 2011, "The New York Times" reported that a number of supporters and admirers had attempted to penetrate the security monitoring Chen's home, but were unsuccessful add something


Chen and his wife were reportedly beaten shortly after a human rights group released a video of their home under intense police surveillance in February 2011 add something


U.S. Congressman Chris Smith attempted to visit Chen in November 2011, but was not granted permission add something


In December 2011, actor Christian Bale attempted to visit Chen along with a CNN crew, but was punched, shoved, and denied access by Chinese security guards add something


Christian Bale - While filming "The Flowers of War" in December 2011, Bale and a CNN crew attempted to visit Chen Guangcheng, a blind "barefoot lawyer" under unofficial house arrest for his activism against China's One Child Policy


Before leaving China in the spring of 2012, Chen expressed concern that his relatives and other activists who had helped him evade capture would be punished by Chinese officials after his departure add something


In 2012, Chen was chosen as the recipient of the Human Rights Award from the New York-based NGO Human Rights First add something


In April 2012, Chen escaped his house arrest and fled to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing add something


On 22 April 2012, Chen escaped from house arrest add something


On 27 April 2012, soon after Chen escaped house arrest, plainclothes security agents forced entry into the home of his eldest brother, Chen Guangfu add something


After negotiations with the Chinese government, he left the embassy for medical treatment in early May 2012, and it was reported that China would consider allowing him to travel to the United States to study add something


The BBC reported in May 2012 that she remained under house arrest add something


On 19 May 2012, Chen, his wife, and his two children were granted U.S. visas and departed Beijing for New York City add something


In November 2012, Chen Kegui was sentenced to more than three years in prison add something


Jerome A. Cohen - Cohen assisted and advised Chinese civil rights activist Chen Guangcheng, after Chen escaped from house arrest in 2012


Chris Smith (New Jersey politician) - In May 2012, while holedup in the United States Embassy in Beijing, Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng telephoned Smith to seek his advice.


In an April 2013 testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Chen said that Chinese authorities had failed to deliver on promises to investigate allegations of mistreatment against he and his family add something


In October 2013, Chen accepted a position in the conservative research group Witherspoon Institute add something


In October 2013, Chen accepted an offer from the Witherspoon Institute, which opposes abortion and gay marriage add something


On 4 November 2013, Chen Guangfu said he would fly to New York City with his mother two days later for a reunion with his brother Chen Guangcheng add something


In 2015, Chen will publish an autobiography "The Barefoot Lawyer: A Blind Man's Fight for Justice and Freedom in China" with Henry Holt add something


On 10 March 2015 Chen published an autobiography with Henry Holt add something