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Release of anti-abortion activist Chen Guangcheng raises fresh questions about Marie Stopes International’s involvement in China

Blind activist Chen Guangcheng has been freed in China following four years in prison, human rights groups say.

Yesterday he was escorted by police from prison to his home in the village of Dongshigu, Shandong. However it is unclear how much freedom he will be permitted as the house is under constant surveillance with telephone and internet access blocked.

Mr Chen was imprisoned in 2006 on charges of damaging property and disrupting traffic following a clash between his supporters and the police.

Since 2005 he had been highlighting family planning abuses in Shandong province, accusing officials of forcing 7,000 women into abortions or sterilisations as part of China’s one child policy.

Although he never received any formal legal training, Mr Chen helped people sue over injustices in the city of Linyi and also campaigned for better treatment of the disabled.

A spokesperson for the ProLife Alliance said:

“We are thankful that Chen Guangcheng has been freed. However the test of that freedom will be if he is allowed to continue his exposure of the gross injustices of the Chinese one child policy in which the Western abortion industry is complicit. It should not be forgotten that while Mr Chen was languishing in prison the British abortion provider Marie Stopes International welcomed China’s Minister for Population to its offices in London. The judgement and motives of an organisation that is seeking to expand its business providing sterilisation and abortion in China while abuses such as this are continuing are extremely questionable.”

NOTE TO EDITORS

For more information on Ms Li Bin’s visit to Marie Stopes, visit http://tibettruth.com/2010/05/19/welcome-to-marie-stopes-madame-sterilization/

Marie Stopes International operates five clinics in China, including one in Qingdao, capital of Shandong province in which Chen Guangcheng was imprisoned. For more information visit their website: http://www.mariestopes.org/Countries_we_work_in/Countries/China.aspx