Chinese dissident Xu Zhiyong released from jail after 4 years

By Sam Howard  |  July 15, 2017 at 10:11 AM
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July 15 (UPI) -- About two and a half weeks after China released dissident and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo from prison, another notable opponent of the Chinese government is out of detention.

China on Saturday released Xu Zhiyong, the law lecturer and founder of the New Citizens' Movement who had finished a four-year sentence on grounds he led assemblies that disrupted public order.

Xu, 44, was arrested in 2013.

Bloomberg reported that Xu's release was expected and seemed unrelated to Liu's parole in June. Liu, 61, died Thursday due to organ failure caused by liver cancer.

In anticipation of Xu's release, human rights activist and attorney Teng Biao said on Twitter that Xu may find that "the crackdown on #humanrights has been much worse."

Xu's New Citizens' Movement was an early target of the government of Chinese President Xi Jinping, since Xi took office in 2012 as general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party's Central Committee. Xu has been a longtime proponent of democratic reforms in the nation and has pushed for legislation at least as early as 2003.

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