News came out yesterday about the overturn of the prison sentence of Chen Guangcheng. Blind since he was a child and learned about law through auditing college classes, he filed a lawsuit on behalf of local villagers in their attempt to sue the local authorities for carrying out forced abortions and sterilizations. He became well-known outside of China when Time Magazine featured him as one of the “TIME 100: The People Who Shape Our World” in May 2006 under the category of “Heroes & Pioneers” among Bono, Bill Clinton, and others.

And there have been many news articles about him since local officials trapped him in his home beginning in September 2005 and later detained him.

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The overturn of his sentence is a surprise because this doesn’t happen often in China. Once a person is sentenced, his/her appeal would most likely be denied. It will be interesting to see how this case develops.

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In case you are wondering whether forced abortions and sterilizations are really happening in China, check out the case of Mao Hengfeng.