In pictures: China's dissidents

China has detained dozens of activists, writers, lawyers and others in recent months, according to rights groups.

In recent months, hundreds of lawyers, activists and other intellectuals have been questioned, detained, confined to their homes or have disappeared in the wake of online appeals calling for peaceful protests across the country similar to those seen in the Arab world.

Although no protests took place, the calls worried the Chinese government enough to prompt them to launch the clampdown.

Human Rights Watch, the US-based rights watchdog, reports that since mid-February, the Chinese government has detained dozens of activists. According to the Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD), a network of domestic and overseas Chinese human rights activists and groups, the number of individuals who were detained was 49.

The release of the Chinese activist Hu Jia comes just days after the release of artist and activist Ai Weiwei on June 22.

Al Jazeera illustrates a selection of prominent dissidents who have been, or are currently, imprisoned in China.