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China jails blind rights activist for over 4 years

Written by: Staff
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BEIJING, Aug 24 (Reuters) - A Chinese court jailed a blind human rights activist for four years and three months today, after finding him guilty of damaging property and disrupting traffic in a village protest.

Chen Guangcheng, who was tried last Friday without his own lawyers present, gained international attention after publicising claims last year that officials in east China's Shandong province had enforced late-term abortions in a population control drive.

The official Xinhua news agency said the Yinan County Court in Shandong announced the sentence, but the report did not say whether Chen had appealed.

Chen's case has become a lightning rod for contention between the Chinese government and human rights activists.

REUTERS LL KP1457

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