Human Rights Lawyer Teng Biao Released

Human rights lawyer Teng Biao has been released after almost ten weeks in detention. From the Associated Press:

Teng Biao returned home on Friday afternoon but was not able to speak to the media, his wife, Wang Ling, said. She declined to comment on his physical or mental well-being.

Other lawyers and activists released after similar detentions have also declined to speak to the media, possibly as a condition of their release.

China Human Rights Defenders, a Hong Kong rights advocacy group, said earlier Teng disappeared on 19 February and officers searched his home, seizing two computers, a printer, articles, books, DVDs and photos of another rights lawyer, Chen Guangcheng.

Teng, a law professor at the China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing, was among dozens of lawyers and activists across China who have vanished, been interrogated or detained for subversion as the Chinese government, apparently unnerved by events in the Middle East and North Africa, moved to prevent dissent.

Meanwhile, an expert on China’s role in the Korean war, who was jailed for more than a decade for spying, will be released in June after his sentence was reduced further, a human rights group said.

The intermediate court in Guangzhou cut the sentence of scholar Xu Zerong by a third, slicing five more months from his 13-year term, said the Dui Hua Foundation in San Francisco.

These developments do not appear to mark the start of an easing-up in the ongoing crackdown, however. The Chinese Human Rights Defenders network dryly noted on Twitter that the authorities seem to be operating on a “one out, one in” basis:

Human rights lawyer Li Fangping abducted in Beijing around 5pm local time by unidentified men in front of the office of Yirenping, an NGO.

See also: more on Li Fangping’s disappearance, via CDT.

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