China dissident Wang jailed on Yahoo information freed

  • 31 August 2012
  • From the section China
Chinese police outside the Number Two prison after the release of dissident Wang Xiaoning in Beijing on 31 August, 2012
Wang Xiaoning was freed from a Beijing jail early Friday morning

A Chinese dissident convicted of subversion charges with the help of evidence provided by US internet giant Yahoo has been released from jail.

Wang Xiaoning was freed early on Friday morning, his wife, Yu Ling, told the BBC by telephone.

Mr Wang, who was detained in 2002, served his 10-year sentence in a Beijing jail.

Yahoo drew widespread criticism for providing information linking him to emails and political writings.

Ms Yu said her husband was in "good health and fine spirits" but was not allowed to give media interviews under the conditions of his release.

She could not comment on his experience in prison, she added.

Mr Wang, a former engineer, was prosecuted after posting pro-democracy statements online calling for an end to one-party Communist rule. He was jailed for "incitement to subvert state power".

The case raised questions about whether internet companies should co-operate with governments that repress freedom of speech, says the BBC's Martin Patience in Beijing.

A human rights group filed a lawsuit in the US on behalf of several plaintiffs, including Mr Wang and a Chinese journalist, Shi Tao, who was also jailed for 10 years in 2005.

Yahoo later apologised and paid an undisclosed amount of compensation to the families involved.

It also told the US congress that the company had been legally obliged to provide the information.

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