China to Free Jailed New York Times Employee – Jim Yardley (Updated)
Update: Zhao was released early Saturday morning.
Journalist and former New York Times researcher Zhao Yan is slated to be released from prison this weekend, according to the New York Times:
Prison officials in Beijing told Mr. Zhao’s older sister that he would be released before 9 a.m. on Saturday. The sister, Zhao Kun, said today that her brother, who suffered health problems during his incarceration, planned to undergo a physical examination in Beijing before leaving the city to attend a family wedding in northeastern China.
Mr. Zhao, 45, completed his full sentence. His case was marked by legal irregularities and at one point a Beijing court even withdrew all charges against him.
But Mr. Zhao was never released, and the charges were reinstated without explanation. President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice lobbied on his behalf with President Hu Jintao of China. [Full text]
Read more about Zhao’s case, via CDT.