Both cyberdissidents arrested by police in Beijing, Yu Jie and Liu Xiaobo, were released 12 hours after their arrest on 13 December.
Reporters without Borders welcomed their release but condemned the relentless harassment to which Chinese authorities have been subjecting reformist intellectuals.
Two freedom of expression activists arrested
Reporters Without Borders has expressed outrage at the arrest on 13 December of two intellectuals, Yu Jie and Liu Xiaobo, two free expression activists.
"The aim of these arrests is clearly to silence liberal and reformist political voices," the worldwide press freedom organisation said. "The censorship practised by the Chinese authorities on every front is absolutely outrageous," it said, calling for the immediate release of the four.
Liu Min, wife of Yu Jie, told Reporters Without Borders that five police officers arrived at their Beijing home in the early evening bearing a document which they claimed was an arrest warrant but which no-one was allowed to read.They immediately arrested Yu and told him that he should stop posting articles on the Internet. They also warned Liu not to contact any foreign media.
Yu Jie’s wife, Liu Min, also confirmed the arrest of Liu Xiaobo, on the phone to Reporters Without Borders. The prominent human rights and free expression activist was behind a petition for the release of cyberdissident Du Daobin, that was sent to Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao. He had contributed to the 2004 report "the Internet under surveillance" published by Reporters Without Borders.