Anti-cor­rup­tion ac­tivist Xu freed from prison

Muscat Daily - - WORLD -

Bei­jing, China - A prom­i­nent Chi­nese anti-cor­rup­tion ac­tivist who founded a move­ment call­ing for greater trans­parency among high-rank­ing of­fi­cials was freed Satur­day af­ter a fouryear prison sen­tence, au­thor­i­ties an­nounced.

‘Xu Zhiy­ong was freed fol­low­ing the end of his sen­tence on July 15, 2017,’ the Bei­jing mu­nic­i­pal ad­min­is­tra­tion of pris­ons said on its web­site, ad­ding that ‘mem­bers of his fam­ily came to meet him’ at the jail. Xu (44) was ar­rested in July 2013 and sen­tenced in early 2014 to four years in prison for or­gan­is­ing an ‘il­le­gal gath­er­ing with the pur­pose of dis­turb­ing pub­lic or­der’. His trial took place in Bei­jing un­der heavy se­cu­rity.

The le­gal scholar was one of the orig­i­nal mem­bers of the New Cit­i­zens Move­ment, a loose net­work whose mem­bers held peace­ful protests in Bei­jing and other cities.

The group or­gan­ised meet­ings and dis­cus­sions on sub- jects in­clud­ing equal­ity in ed­u­ca­tion and cor­rup­tion among the Chi­nese elite.

Xu tried to gather pub­lic sup­port for a move­ment against cor­rup­tion, de­mand­ing more trans­parency over the as­sets of se­nior of­fi­cials, a sen­si­tive topic in China.

He and a dozen mem­bers of the New Cit­i­zens Move­ment were ar­rested and hauled be­fore the au­thor­i­ties for demon­stra­tions held in 2013.

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