Chen Guangcheng to visit Oxford

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Chen Guangcheng, a blind Chinese civil rights activist who evaded house arrest to escape to the United States, is to give a talk at the Union at 2pm on Tuesday the 21st of May. The talk will be the only other public engagement apart from an address to Parliament during his short visit to the U.K.

Guangcheng was placed under arrest in China following a lawsuit he brought against the local authorities for their excessive enforcement of the one-child policy in 2005. He then served a prison sentence but was kept under house arrest after the end of his term and beaten during this period. Guangcheng then escaped to the U.S embassy, where eventually he was given permission to leave with his family to “study” in the U.S. He has featured in the Time 100 and has never visited the U.K before.

Joseph D’Urso, President of the Union, told Cherwell, “This is very exciting, especially as it will be Mr Chen’s only speech in the UK aside from parliament. His story is incredible and we are all very much looking forward to hearing it first hand.”

Hannah Smith, a Second Year Law and French Law student, said, “The story of Guangcheng, who taught himself law and has done so much for human rights campaigns in China, is extremely inspiring for me both as a law-student and as a person.”

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