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Blogger Ran Yunfei released from prison, placed under "residential surveillance"

(RSF/IFEX) - August 10 2011 - Reporters Without Borders hails today's release of the Chinese blogger Ran Yunfei but laments that he has been placed under residential surveillance, a form of house arrest, at his home in Sichuan for six months, during which time he will be forbidden to express himself publicly.

Detained on 20 February during a wave of arrests aimed at preventing a "jasmine revolution," Ran is charged with "inciting subversion of state authority". His case has been referred to the police.

During his detention, Twitter users created a blog where English translations of his writings were posted.

Other cyber-dissidents were arrested at the same time as Ran. They include Chen Wei and Ding Mao, who are also from Sichuan province. They are being prosecuted on the same charge as Ran and, according to Chinese Human Rights Defenders, are still detained – Chen in Suining and Ding in Mianyang.

Wang Lihong, a cyber-dissident who was arrested on 21 March, is also still detained. She is due to be tried on 12 August, when she will face the possibility of a five-year jail sentence.

Guo Weidong, a netizen who was arrested on 11 March, was released on bail on 10 April pending trial on the same charge of "inciting subversion of state authority".

Reporters Without Borders urges the Chinese authorities to release these cyber-dissidents unconditionally, to drop the charges against them, and to return all the equipment and material that was confiscated from them.
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