BEIJING: China has released from prison early a prominent dissident and journalist who was jailed in 2005 for leaking state secrets abroad after Yahoo! was accused of helping authorities identify him, a rights group said.
Shi Tao was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Yahoo defended itself at the time, saying it had to abide by local laws. The group PEN International said that Shi had been released 15 months before the end of his sentence.
“We welcome news of Shi Tao’s early release, at a time when there seem to be increasingly long shadows over freedom of expression in China,” the group’s Marian Botsford Fraser said.
“Shi Tao’s arrest and imprisonment, because of the actions of Yahoo China, signalled a decade ago the challenges to freedom of expression of Internet surveillance and privacy that we are now dealing with.” Reuters