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China deports Swedish human rights activist Peter Dahlin

By Ed Adamczyk Follow @adamczyk_ed Contact the Author   |   Jan. 26, 2016 at 7:48 AM

BEIJING, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- Chinese authorities on Tuesday said they deported Swedish human rights activist Peter Dahlin after he spent several weeks in custody.

Dahlin, 35, a representative of the legal aid organization Chinese Urgent Action Working Group, was detained Jan. 4 in a crackdown on about 280 human rights advocates and lawyers on charges of damaging national security.

Last week, he appeared on Chinese state television apparently confessing to lawbreaking. On Monday the Swedish foreign ministry confirmed he was released, and Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said Tuesday Dahlin was deported.

"I welcome the fact that Peter Dahlin can now be reunited with his family in Sweden. This is the result of close contacts between the Swedish foreign ministry and Chinese representatives," Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström said in a statement.

Dahlin's group suggested his televised confession, in which he admitted aiding the Beijing law firm Fengrui, was forced. Several of the law firm's members have recently been charged with subversion.

Dahlin's case comes as China considers a new law aimed at curbing the influence of foreign non-governmental organizations within China.

Reporters Without Borders, an international journalism advocacy group, pressed the European Union last week to impose sanctions against China on the issue of forced confessions.

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