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China 27 April 2007

Release of cyber-dissident welcomed amid concern over new arrests

Reporters Without Borders welcomed the release today of cyber-dissident Yang Jianli who has completed a five-year prison sentence for “illegally entering Chinese territory” and “spying for Taiwan”.

The worldwide press freedom organisation however expressed concern about the arrest of Zhu Yufu, a member of the banned China Democracy Party and his 26-year old son, Zhu Ang, who have been held since 19 April 2007 in Shang Cheng jail in Zhejiang province south of Shanghai.

“We are pleased at the news of the release of Yang Jianli although it should be pointed out that this in no way reflects any clemency on the part of the government, because the cyber-dissident served his entire sentence,” the organisation said, adding, “We call for the release of Zhu Yufu and his son, Zhu Ang. This pro-democracy activist, who has spent seven years in prison, has already paid a high price for publicly expressing his opinions.”

Zhu Yufu was telephoned by another China Democracy Party member, Hu Janxiong, who informed him that he was being held by the police at Zhu Ang’s home. He went there and he and his son were involved in a confrontation with the police officers. Little detail has filtered out about the exact circumstances, but they were both accused of assaulting a police officer.

Zhu Yufu spent seven years in prison between June 1999 and September 2006. On his release he told The Epoch Times : “No matter how much pressure I am under, I will continue down this path. Now I am more determined! After coming out of prison, I want to recount my experiences inside prison to the whole world. I may go to prison again after that. If so, I will continue telling the world from prison about the evil nature of Communist Party politics."

Yang Jianli was arrested on 26 April 2002 while secretly reporting on workers’ strikes in north-eastern China. He had returned to the country for the first time since being expelled for taking part in the Tiananmen Square demonstrations in 1989. He was sentenced to five years in prison on 13 May 2004.

Apart from Zhu Yufu and his son, 51 cyber-dissidents are currently being held in Chinese jails.

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