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Dissident Kang Yuchun Released

October 27, 2003

Human Rights in China (HRIC) has learned that Kang Yuchun will be released from prison on October 28, more than five years before his original anticipated release date of May 28, 2009.

Arrested on May 29, 1992, Kang was tried with Hu Shigen and others on accusations of “counter-revolutionary incitement” and “participating in a counter-revolutionary organization” because of his involvement with the Chinese Progressive Alliance and the Chinese Freedom and Democracy Party. Kang’s original sentence of 17 years in prison was one of the heaviest meted out by Chinese authorities after the 1989 democracy movement.

A doctor by training, Kang provided medical services for his fellow prison inmates, and it is believed that his exemplary actions and attitude led to his sentence being reduced by a total of one year and seven months on two occasions, and now his early release from the remainder of his sentence.

“HRIC welcomes the early release of Kang Yuchun from prison,” said HRIC president Liu Qing. “At the same time, we must point out that Hu Shigen and Kang Yuchun’s other codefendants remain in prison on lengthy sentences – 20 years in Hu’s case – even though they were merely working peacefully to promote China’s democratic reform and were not involved in violent or criminal activities. In addition, many other peaceful advocates of democracy and human rights, such as Ouyang Yi, Yan Jun, Jiang Lijun, He Depu, Zhao Changqing, Tao Haidong, Yao Fuxin and Xiao Yunliang also remain in custody. The international community should not take Kang Yuchun’s release as a sign that the Chinese government is easing its suppression on human rights when so many dissidents remain in prison and continue to be arrested and prosecuted.”

HRIC calls on the international community to continue its pressure on the Chinese government to release all prisoners of conscience and to refrain from arresting others for the peaceful expression of their political views.