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China Releases Swedish Human Rights Activist

  • VOA News

China's national flag is seen in front of cranes on a construction site at a commercial district in Beijing, China, Jan. 26, 2016.

China's national flag is seen in front of cranes on a construction site at a commercial district in Beijing, China, Jan. 26, 2016.

A Swedish human rights activist arrested earlier this month in China and accused of endangering state security has been released and deported.

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom issued a statement Tuesday welcoming the release of Peter Dahlin, 35, the co-founder of Chinese Urgent Action Group, which provides training and support for Chinese human rights lawyers.

Dahlin was detained on January 3 as he was preparing to fly out of Beijing, and not seen again until last week when he was featured on state-owned broadcaster CCTV confessing to the allegations.

China has engaged in a widespread crackdown on human rights lawyers in the country since President Xi Jinping took power in 2012.

Many of those arrested have been shown on state television confessing to the charges, a practice that human rights activists say are obviously forced.

Meanwhile, another Swedish national, Chinese-born publisher Gui Minhai, remains in custody in China.

The Hong Kong-based publisher disappeared late last year from Thailand before reappearing last week on CCTV, saying he had turned himself in to Chinese authorities on a decades-old drunk-driving charge.

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