LINYI, October 5, 2005 ( – Human rights campaigner, Chen Guangcheng, the 34-year-old blind farmer who initiated a class-action suit against population authorities for human rights atrocities in the Linyi region of China, is under a form of house arrest normally “reserved for high-profile dissidents,” according to one source.

After suffering a brutal attack and forcible detainment by Chinese population authorities last month, Chen has been confined to his home, with roads blocked and guards posted at the train stations to prevent outside visitors from attempting to reach him, according to a report from the Financial Press. According to Jerome Cohen, an American lawyer teaching in Beijing, 30 police surround Chen’s home while 20 unmarked police cars are in the village. “Chen is not permitted to show his face at the door to his courtyard,” Cohen said.

Lawyers who attempted to visit Chen Tuesday said they and Chen were also beaten by local authorities, according to a BBC report. The lawyers were attempting to persuade officials to lift Chen’s house arrest when they were attacked. Chen was abandoned on the street, bleeding, according to one source. “Chen Guangcheng was bleeding from several cuts and injuries to his arms, and also sustained an injury to his leg,” a fellow villager told Radio Free Asia.

Chinese authorities arrested Chen September 6 for campaigning against the country’s forced abortion policy – a measure aimed at preventing him from meeting with sympathizers in the ruling Communist regime. Chen initiated a class-action suit against the government after a concentrated effort to implement the country’s forced-abortion policy began in the region in March.

Time magazine published a report that described the situation in Linyi as “one of the most brutal sterilization campaigns of recent years.” Since March, family-planning officials have combed the region to forcibly abort pregnant women or to sterilize women who already have the allotted one child (or two if the first is a girl or handicapped).

In one county of the Linyi region alone, at least 7,000 people were forcibly sterilized between March and July this year. Several villagers were beaten to death for hiding family members trying to avoid forcible abortions and sterilizations. Some children only days away from birth were brutally aborted by population zealots.

See related coverage:
  Infanticide, Forced Abortions and Sterilizations in China’s Linyi Province
  Man who Fought Forced Abortion Law Arrested in China