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China 7 February 2002

Wang Yiliang released after having completed his term

Having completed his two-year term of re-education through labour, journalist and dissident Wang Yiliang was released on 30 January 2002, from the camp of re-education through labour in Shanghai (China).

According to a friend of the journalist’s and refugee in the United States, Wang has returned to his home in Shanghai but for fear of retaliation, his mother refused to confirm her son’s liberation to an American Journalist.

Wang Yiliang, founder of the Chinese Cultural Renaissance Bulletin, had been arrested on 31 January 2000 and sentenced to two-year re-education through labour for "distribution of pornographic material." According to the Court, Wang Yiliang would have projected the film Lady Chatterley’s Lover for three of his friends, in June 1999. One month later, he would have made DVD copies of that movie together with one of The Piano Lesson. The authorities blame the journalist for taking part to the creation of the illegal review Chinese Cultural Renaissance Bulletin. He was detained in the re-education camp of Shanghai.

Reporters Sans Frontières insist to remind that ten journalists and twenty-two cyber-dissidents are still imprisoned in China. The organisation for the defence of press freedom is pleased about Wang Yiliang’s release, but regrets it did not happen any sooner. Indeed, the journalist was a conscientious prisoner, only detained for his opinions and not, as the Chinese authorities charged him, for having "distributed and duplicated pornographic material", provided that the film The Piano may be regarded as a pornographic film...

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