Chinese Activist Chen Guangcheng at Work


Chen and his fellow activists take notes for the team's record of villagers' testimonies. Photo: Cai Chu. >> See the slideshow

A social activist who blew the whistle on official abuses under China’s one-child policy in the eastern province of Shandong continues his work collecting evidence from witnesses in the face of tight surveillance and the threat of detention and beatings.

In this slideshow, Chen Guangcheng, who is blind, is shown speaking to several local residents of Yinan county, near Shandong’s Linyi city, who complain of abusive treatment at the hands of officials seeking to implement China's strict family planning policies.

Commonly known as the "one-child policy," family planning quotas seek to limit the number of births in a given district so as to make tough population control targets set by central government.

Localities that exceed the quota are often fined large sums of money by the level of bureaucracy above them.

Theoretically, families having "extra" children are subject only to fines and a loss of social benefits. In practice, rural women throughout China have reported harassment, attacks on family members, the destruction of their property, and forced abortions as a result of unapproved pregnancies.

Chen Guangcheng's work collecting evidence of such abuses has led to his kidnapping and beating by local officials, who even followed him to Beijing. He continues his work under the watchful eyes of a hired mob, directed by local government officials.


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