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The New York Times: Two Chinese Dissidents Freed After Years in Prison

March 13, 2009

Excerpted from The New York Times:

Human rights organizations have long sought the release of the men, citing the severity of their sentences and pointing out that none of those convicted were veteran dissidents. They say the defendants, all in their 20s and graduates of the country’s most prestigious universities, were simply earnest young men eager to debate the problems that face a rapidly modernizing China.

"The authorities destroyed the lives of young people who were simply exercising freedoms that are supposedly protected by Chinese law," said Sharon Hom, executive director of Human Rights in China, a group based in New York. For Mr. Yang [Zili] and Mr. Zhang [Honghai], those freedoms are now proscribed by the terms of their release. For two years, they have no right to free speech, assembly or association, and are forbidden to discuss politics.

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