Anti-corruption activist Xu freed from prison
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.