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Guangxi Rights Defense Village Chief Released from Prison

June 12, 2013

Xu Kun (许坤), formerly the elected chief of Baihutou Village, Beihai City, Guangxi Province, was released from prison on June 10, 2013, after receiving an 11-month reduction from his original four-year sentence for extra labor he performed in prison.

Xu was convicted of “illegal business activities” in April 2011 after he led villagers to resist forcible eviction by the Beihai government. Xu maintains he is innocent and says he will appeal the original sentence.

Xu told Human Rights in China that in prison, he “took on extra labor every day doing many things, including making colored lamps, cell phone batteries, Christmas trees, and woolen goods.”

Xu talked about his daily routine in prison: “I got up at 5:50 in the morning, worked from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m., or until 8:30 p.m. if overtime was needed. There was only a half hour for eating daily. No Saturday, no Sunday.”

On prison conditions, Xu said: “It’s not a place for humans to live; conditions were so bad that it was not possible to keep up personal hygiene; and inmates were not let out for exercise.” He said that for the time being, he needs to restore his health.

Gao Shifu (高世福), a Baihutou villager who served a two-year prison term in the same case, and other friends greeted Xu as he left the prison. Xu thanks everyone who has shown concern about him and supported him.

 

For more information on Xu Kun and the Baihutou Village case, see:

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