05 Dec '11, 10am

Is Chen Guangcheng's situation improving? China eases grip on blind Chinese activist: sources

BEIJING (Reuters) - China has eased some restrictions on a blind legal activist whose smothering, secretive detention in his village has become the focus of protests at home and condemnation abroad, sources close to his family said. Activists said the government of Linyi in eastern Shandong province in October allowed Chen Guangcheng's 77-year-old mother to leave Chen's home village to buy supplies for the family -- a hint that officials have softened some of the harshest restrictions on him and his family, all of whom have been under house arrest for nearly 15 months. The fate of Chen, a charismatic, self-schooled advocate who has campaigned against forced abortions, has become a test of wills, pitting the ruling Communist Party's crackdown on dissent against rights activists who have rallied around his cause and that of the artist Ai Weiwei. He Peirong, an activist based...

Full article: http://sg.news.yahoo.com/china-eases-grip-blind-chinese-a...

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