China releases Tiananmen dissident

A Chinese political dissident who has taken part in the 1989 Tiananmen democracy protests is released, just days before the 15th anniversary of the crackdown, an official said.

    Tiananmen Square was the scene of protests in 1989

    Li Hai was allowed on Sunday to leave Beijing's Liangxiang prison early in the day after completing a nine-year sentence, according to the prison official.

    "He left the prison at about 9:00 am (0100 GMT)," said the official, surnamed Xiao.

    Beijing police have visited Li's mother in recent days and warned her not to allow any "unanticipated events" to occur after his release, according to New York-based Human Rights in China.

    Li was detained in May 1995 and later convicted of "providing state secrets to entities overseas," after giving information to foreign media and rights organizations on the government's arrests and trials of other dissidents.

    A graduate philosophy student at Peking University in the late
    1980s, Li had already spent 18 months in prison after taking part in the Tiananmen protests that were crushed on 4 June 1989.

    While in Liangxiang Prison, he was subjected to severe physical and mental abuse, with most of his sentence spent in solitary confinement or under close monitoring, according to Human Rights in China.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    How the art world's hunger for ancient artefacts is destroying a centuries-old culture. A journey across the Himalayas.