BEIJING - A blind activist who was jailed after uncovering rights abuses in China's "one child" population control policy could be released this week from a four-year prison term, his wife said Wednesday.
Chen Guangcheng, who accused family-planning officials in eastern China's Shandong province of forcing at least 7,000 women to be sterilised or undergo late-term abortions, is due for release Thursday, Yuan Weijing told AFP.
However, she said she had so far received no confirmation that he would be freed.
"I have not received any notice from the prison but I plan to go to the prison tomorrow morning and wait at the gate to meet him," Yuan said.
"Four years have passed, at last Chen Guangcheng can finally come home. Of course I am very happy."
Chen, 39, was convicted of "wilfully harming public property" and "gathering masses to disturb traffic order", charges that stemmed from a mass rally by supporters who were angry at police treatment of him.
Supporters had scuffled with police during the rally outside Chen's home while he was under house arrest in early 2006. During his house arrest, Chen was allegedly beaten by police.
He gained fame in Linyi prefecture for helping people sue officials over a wide variety of injustices, with corrupt officials in government a particular target.
In 2006, Chen was named by US-based Time magazine as one of the world's 100 most influential people for his courage in exposing the abortion and sterilisation abuses.
In recent weeks, police have been setting up surveillance cameras outside his home and in his village, apparently to continue to monitor his movements after his release, his wife said.
"From all the surveillance equipment they are installing, it looks like that after he comes home he may not be completely free," Yuan said.