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China frees cyber dissident after 8 years in jail

By Agence France-Presse
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 7:43 EDT
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A demonstration in China's Guangdong province. Image via AFP.
 
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Chinese authorities have freed a former newspaper reporter and cyber dissident who was jailed for subversion in 2003, a human rights group said Wednesday.

Huang Jinqiu was released from prison in October after serving eight years of a 12-year sentence, US-based Human Rights in Chinasaid in a statement.

Huang, who worked as a journalist for several newspapers and was a regular contributor to dissident news website Boxun, was arrested in September 2003 and convicted of subversion the following year.

His sentence was reduced by nearly four years for manual labour he performed in prison and “other reasons”, the activist group said.

While he was in prison, Huang was tortured and kept in solitary confinement for periods of time, it said.

The subversion charge related to Huang’s attempts to set up a democracy party online and recruit members to the organisation.

Political power in China is monopolised by the Communist party and authorities have ruled out a move to multi-party democracy.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
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