Reporters Without Borders is reporting that Li Minying, a former editor of Southern Metropolitan Daily, has been released after serving half of his six-year sentence for alleged corruption. Li was arrested together with former editors Cheng Yizhong and Yu Huafeng in a case that was widely viewed as an attempt by the authorities to crack down on one of China’s most independent-minded newspapers (See an open letter protesting the arrests signed by more than 2000 Chinese journalists). Cheng has since been released but Yu remains in prison:
Li, who was released from Panyu prison in the southern province of Guangdong, is reportedly in good physical and psychological shape. He has so far refused to make any comment, partly in order not to harm his still imprisoned colleague Yu.
Under Chinese law, a prisoner may be granted release after serving more than half his sentence. This is the second time that Li, who is supported by many Chinese journalists, has had his sentence reduced. He was not mistreated while in prison and was able to phone his family regularly.
His lawyer and his wife told Reporters Without Borders by telephone that they were only notified a few days ago that he was to be released. [Full text]