Two Writers Released After Spending a Decade in Prison

Two writers and political activists, Xu Wei and Jin Haike, were released from prison after serving their ten-year sentence for participating in an informal political discussion group called the New Youth Study Group. From AP:

Xu Wei, a former reporter, and Jin Haike, a writer, were detained in 2001 and convicted of subversion in 2003 after taking part in an informal study group in Beijing that met privately to talk about democratic reform.

Their fathers said that both were released Saturday.

The harsh sentences given to the men were a sign that China’s intolerance of political dissent remained entrenched despite dramatic moves to reshape and liberalize the country’s economic system.

Friends and supporters had repeatedly sought medical parole for Jin, who underwent a botched appendectomy in prison and suffered abdominal pain and other health problems.

His father, Jin Jiangguo, said his 33-year-old son planned to stay with his family for the next year or so while recovering.

Read an in-depth article on the New Youth Study Group by Philip Pan in the Washington Post in April 2004. See also more about their case from the Committee to Protect Journalists.

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