Afrique Ameriques Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
 
China 1 October 2003

Cyber-dissident Qi Yanchen freed early

Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières) today welcomed the release from prison of cyber-dissident Qi Yanchen before completion of his four-year sentence for alleged subversion and "putting out anti-government news" by posting pro-democracy articles on the Internet. He was released on 1 May, the press freedom organisation has been able to confirm.

China remains however by far the world’s biggest prison for cyber-dissidents and Internet users, with at least 37 currently in jail for speaking out online, including webmaster Huang Qi and a young web user, Liu Di.

Qi Yanchen, an economist who published many articles online and in foreign-based media, was freed from prison no.4 in Shijiazhuang, south of Beijing. He was convicted and sentenced by a court in Cangzhou (Hebei province) in September 2000, after being arrested in September 1999.

After being freed, he returned to his home in Cangzhou to rest and get treatment for his health problems, include a middle-ear infection, colitis and gallstones. He refused to say why he was freed early. In August, he began working at a private firm in Beijing, where he now lives.

Qi was one of the first Chinese dissidents to be given a lengthy prison sentence for posting material on the Internet. Thousands of Internet users and European websites campaigned for his release.




In this country
3 June - China
“Tank Man” photo displayed outside Chinese embassy in Paris on eve of Tiananmen Square massacre
2 June - China
All references to Tiananmen Square massacre closely censored for 20 years
12 May - China
Foreign reporters prevented from working in Sichuan a year after earthquake
24 April - China
Concern that detained Tibetan magazine editor is being tortured
25 March - China
Government blocks access to YouTube

in the annual report
China - Annual report 2008
China - Annual report 2007
China - Annual report 2006

reports
4 May 2009 - Nepal
Mission report : A call to end violence and impunity
2 April 2009 - Pakistan
Fact-finding visit by Reporters Without Borders to Swat “valley of fear”
16 March 2009 - Afghanistan
Report of fact-finding mission : Press freedom in free-fall in run-up to presidential election
archives

Asia archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives

Asia press releases
3 June - North Korea
Pyongyang judges asked to be lenient with two American journalists
3 June - Afghanistan
US forces arrest a journalist in Khost
2 June - China
Blocking of Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Blogger deprives Chinese of Web 2.0
2 June - Sri Lanka
Press freedom activist badly beaten in Colombo, hospitalised
29 May - Sri Lanka
Journalists trying to cover fate of Tamils are threatened, obstructed