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China: Prominent government critic released

China: Prominent government critic released

Amnesty International welcomes news that Dr Jiang Yanyong has been released by authorities in Beijing, following almost seven weeks of arbitrary detention.

The organization further urges the Chinese government to stop harassing individuals and groups who choose to exercise their right to freedom of expression. Dr Jiang, a 72-year-old semi-retired surgeon, wrote a strongly-worded letter to the national parliament in February 2004, calling for a reappraisal of the pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square fifteen years ago.

Dr Jiang became a national hero last year for exposing the government's cover up of the SARS epidemic that led to more open reporting of the disease.

He was detained on 1 June 2004 in an apparent attempt to silence any further criticisms he might have made ahead of the 4 June anniversary of the protests. According to reports, he was subjected to "study sessions" during his detention.

Amnesty International reiterates and supports Dr Jiang, the Tiananmen Mothers and other human rights groups in their calls for the Chinese government to set up an independent inquiry into the killing of unarmed students and demonstrators on the night of 3-4 June 1989.

China in the Annual Report 2004:

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