Prominent Chinese dissident Hu Jia released from jail: wife

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 25, 2011 4:04 PM

BEIJING (Reuters) - One of China's most prominent dissidents, Hu Jia, was reunited with his family in the early hours of Sunday after serving three and a half-years in jail on subversion charges, his wife said.

Hu was convicted in 2008 for "inciting subversion of state power" for criticising human rights problems in China, and he was seen by some supporters as a potential recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize before it went to another jailed Chinese dissident, Liu Xiaobo, last year.

"He is back home with his parents and me," his wife, Zeng Jingyan, told Reuters in a brief telephone interview.

"I don't know if he can speak later. At the moment, I want everything to be peaceful. I'm worried that doing interviews at this stage might cause problems. Please understand."

Hu Jia's release follows the abrupt freeing from detention of the prominent artist and activist Ai Weiwei, and has come while Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao is visiting Europe on trips to Hungary, Britain and Germany.

(Reporting by Maxim Duncan and Chris Buckley; Writing by Chris Buckley)