CHINESE DISSIDENT FREED AFTER NINE YEARS: REPORTS

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BEIJING: A Chinese activist who has spent nearly half his life in detention has been freed from prison, reports said on Wednesday, in a rare move amid clampdowns on other dissidents. Xu Wanping was released this week from the Yuzhou jail in the southwestern mega-city of Chongqing, according to the New York City-based campaign group Human Rights in China and US-funded Radio Free Asia (RFA). Xu, a former factory worker and member of the outlawed Chinese Democracy Party, which advocates for an end to one-party rule, was sentenced in 2005 to 12 years in prison for “inciting subversion of state power.” He was freed this week after authorities in Chongqing granted him a three-year reduction, he told RFA on Wednesday, without specifying a reason. Xu has served a total of 20 years in various forms of detention. He was first jailed for eight years in 1989.

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AFP

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