Chinese legal activist freed from prison
BEIJING — A Chinese legal activist who founded a loose network of socially conscious citizens was released from prison Saturday at the end of a four-year sentence, his lawyer said.
Xu Zhiyong helped found the New Citizens Movement, which at the time organized monthly dinners to discuss China’s constitution and other legal issues.
Zhang Qingfang, Xu’s attorney, said he was freed Saturday morning from a prison in Beijing. He said Xu was in good health but had no further details to share.
It was not immediately clear whether Xu’s movements continued to be restricted. Authorities commonly place activists seen as politically sensitive under some form of house arrest to prevent them from speaking publicly.
Xu was convicted in January 2014 of disrupting order in public places, a vaguely defined charge that activists say has been used to muzzle government critics.