Zhao Gangfu is seeking political asylum in Thailand, where he fears he may yet be kidnapped by Chinese police.
He had been jailed for two and a half years for supporting a self-immolation protest against Chinese rule.
Former contract teachers across China have been fighting for decades for the government to implement promised pay and benefits.
Current arrest measures aren’t enough, because gang members who sell heroin and yaba tablets eventually reappear on the streets, one lawmaker says.
Detained by police last November, he is found 'languishing' in a prison in Sichuan, a local source says.
The move sparks further criticism over a lack of respect for Yanhuang Chunqiu 's charter.
The move is part of a nationwide crackdown on any online content not officially approved by Beijing.
Outpouring of sorrow and respect for slain government critic comes at a time of political tensions.