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Blind Chinese activist plans to write book

2012/06/08 22:23:46

Taipei, June 8 (CNA) Chinese human rights campaigner Chen Guangcheng wants to write a book about himself and how he fought for the rights of disadvantaged groups in his hometown, Chen's spokesman Matt Dorf announced in New York Thursday.

According to Dorf, the blind activist, who is now studying at New York University law school, wants to write the book for three reasons -- to spread the idea that China needs greater freedom, help raise his family, and raise money for human rights organizations.

He noted that Chen hopes very much to tell his story, and though he has yet to begin writing it, he will soon meet a publisher, according to a British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) report published Friday on its Chinese-language website.

Chen's planned book will be translated into English, Dorf added.

The BBC report said American lawyer Robert Barnett is believed to be Chen's representative in charge of the book's publishing. Barnett was the agent contracted by U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to publish their memoirs.

The 40-year-old activist, known as a self-taught lawyer, was sentenced in 2006 to four years and three months in prison for "damaging property and organizing a mob to disturb traffic."

His supporters maintain that the charges were trumped up by authorities to punish his legal advocacy for victims of what he called abusive family-planning policies, including forced abortions and sterilization.

After he was released from jail, Chen remained under house arrest in his hometown in Shandong Province. He managed to escape from house arrest this year, and then fled to the U.S. embassy in Beijing on April 22, sparking diplomatic tensions between the two countries.

After negotiations, the Chinese authorities eventually allowed Chen to leave for New York to study.

(By Su Yien-feng and Elizabeth Hsu)
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