Lawyer Released, Another Held

Beijing continues crackdown on dissidents despite outcry.

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tengbiao305 Chinese lawyer Teng Biao at an Amnesty International rally in Berlin in December 2007.
Chinese authorities have released a prominent lawyer but detained another as they continue one of the harshest crackdowns in years following calls for "Jasmine" protests inspired by recent uprisings in the Middle East.

Chinese human rights lawyer Teng Biao, who had been missing for over two months, returned home on Friday afternoon.

Teng refused to speak to the media, but his wife, Wang Ling, told RFA, “It’s not convenient to discuss the details of his situation …. The most important thing is that he has returned home,” she said.

Teng’s release followed two days of talks between Washington and Beijing on human rights in China. U.S. assistant secretary of state Michael Posner raised Teng’s case as a matter of concern, alongside other activists’.

Teng, a lecturer at the University of Politics and Law in Beijing, was led away from his home by police on February 19.

The latest crackdown on dissent in China began following anonymous online calls in February for a "Jasmine" revolution that did not garner much traction.

Lawyer Detained

However, soon after news of Teng’s return, another prominent lawyer, Li Fangping, disappeared.

His wife last heard from him around 5:00 p.m. on Friday, when he called to say that he was at the Yirenping center in Beijing and that a group of people had come to take him away.

“I believe [it] is related to his work,” Li’s wife told Hong Kong’ South China Morning Post newspaper.

“He has offended many people while helping the disadvantaged. I’m not sure if state security officers are really the ones who have taken him away, or whether some gangsters are behind it.”

Another rights activist who had been missing since the start of the “Jasmine rallies,” Liu Zhengqing, was released on bail.

His wife told RFA, “He has been out for six or seven days already. He was released on bail.”

But she said she did not know what charges were leveled against him.

Reported by RFA’s Mandarin Service. Translated and written in English by Rachel Vandenbrink.

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