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China Releases Tiananmen Square Activist After 18 Years

A Hong Kong-based human rights group says a Chinese man jailed for his involvement in the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests has been released from prison after 18 years.

The Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy said Friday that Xi Haoliang was released from a Beijing prison Tuesday.

Xi is reported to have joined a crowd burning debris to prevent troops from entering Tiananmen Square on the morning of June 4, 1989. His actions led to a death sentence, which was later commuted to a prison term.

Chinese troops and tanks killed hundreds and possibly thousands of demonstrators in 1989 in Beijing, putting a brutal end to weeks of peaceful protests in Tiananmen Square.

The government has called the protests a counter-revolutionary rebellion and has rejected all calls to reassess its position.

Some information for this report is provided by AFP and AP.