BEIJING: A US geologist convicted on state secrets charges and imprisoned in China has been released and returned to the United States, a human rights group said.
Xue Feng, who had been serving an eight-year sentence in Beijing No. 2 Prison, was immediately deported upon leaving jail, the US-based Dui Hua Foundation said in a release dated Friday.
The rights group, which advocates clemency and better treatment for prisoners in China and had repeatedly raised Xue’s case with Chinese officials, said that he arrived in the US city of Houston on Friday evening.
“Dui Hua is delighted that Dr. Xue has finally been reunited with his family in America after a terrible ordeal,” the San Francisco-based group’s executive director John Kamm said in the release.
The US embassy in Beijing said in an e-mail it was “aware of reports” that Xue had been released, but could add no more due to privacy considerations, directing media instead to Chinese authorities.
China’s state-run Xinhua news agency did not immediately carry any articles on the release. A phone number for the Beijing No. 2 Prison could not be found and the institution’s website had no information on Xue’s release.
Xue, a Chinese-born US citizen, was first detained in November 2007 over the sale of a database on China’s oil industry while working for US energy and engineering consulting firm IHS.