A human rights group says a blind Chinese activist jailed for exposing abuses in the country’s child population policy has been released after four years behind bars.
Chen Guangcheng was convicted in 2006 on charges of damaging property and organizing people to disrupt traffic. His conviction came after he accused family planning officials in eastern Shangdong province of forcing thousands of women to have late-term abortions or undergo sterilization.
Chen’s release was reported by the Chinese Human Rights Defenders, a network of rights activists.
His family says Chen was beaten during his stay, and is also suffering from a longstanding stomach ailment.
The 39-year Chen has been blind since childhood. He educated himself in the law and became an advocate for local residents, including the disabled and farmers in land disputes with the government.
Chen’s lawyers tell foreign news outlets the phones for Chen and his family have been cut off. Human rights groups say authorities will keep the family under tight surveillance.