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Understatement of the Week:Chen Guangcheng

By ANTHONY HALL, United Press International   |   Feb. 20, 2011 at 6:54 AM   |   Comments

In China, abuse of political dissidents and human rights campaigners has a unfortunate sense of familiarity.

More frequently of late, The New York Times reported, China is turning to house arrest as a method to control their political enemies.

At that, it might be hard to find a more poignant case than that of Chen Guangcheng, whom the Times called, "one of the country's most prominent rights defenders."

His crime is said to be his stance against forced abortions and sterilizations.

For that, Chen spent more than four years in prison.

He was released in September. Since then, along with his wife and daughter, he has been confined to house arrest.

His home is now guarded by security officers and hired peasants who patrol the home with sticks and bricks.

In addition, police have also set up floodlights around his home to repel visitors and prevent his escape.

The floodlights have no affect on Chen. He is blind.

Still, he was able to describe his treatment in a video smuggled out of his village last week.

He defined his fate graphically: "I have come out a small jail and walked into a bigger jail," he said in the Understatement of the Week.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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