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Chen Guangcheng - The Story of a Blind Activist

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

Chen Guangcheng, a blind legal activist from Shandong province, emerged from poverty, fought for justice and paid the price with his own liberty. Chen, a self-taught lawyer was praised for years by the local government for advocating the rights of disabled people. This changed when he worked to expose forced abortions in his local community. He is one of the most important members of Chinese urban civil society, along with other significant names such as the artist Ai Weiwei, to whom Cinema for Peace is organising a special evening with the premiere of “Ai Weiwei – Never Sorry” on the occasion of Art Basel on June 10 at Fondation Beyeler.

Guangchengs’ opposition to China’s strict one-child policy abortions and sterilisations resulted in 4 years in jail and made him a prisoner in his own home for 19 months. Chen's case received international attention, with several organisations like Amnesty International appealing for his release. On 22 April 2012, Chen escaped from his house arrest and fled to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. He was then allowed out of the embassy for medical treatment on the 2 May, and it was reported on the 4 May that he received the permission by China to travel to the United States to study.

Another Chinese activist, Liu Xiaobo is currently incarcerated as a political prisoner in China, imprisoned for his calls for political reform. His activism has bought him an international following and in 2010 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Liu Xiaobo has refused to be sent into exile as he believes he could be marginalised politically and that he is a more potent symbol in the struggle for democracy in China if he stays, his supporters have said.

Cinema for Peace held a specie screening series in honour of the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate in Berlin, Beijing, The Hague, New York, Oslo, and at Human Rights Film Festivals in Vienna, Warsaw and Amman in December 2010.



Cheng´s fight against forced abortions in China


For your inspiration we would like to recommend you to watch the following films:


Ai Weiwei – Never Sorry


Moving the Mountain