BEIJING (AP) — A veteran democracy advocate has been released by Chinese authorities after serving 16 years in prison, according to a human rights group.
Hu Shigen, 53, was released Tuesday after serving the majority of his 20-year sentence for "carrying out counterrevolutionary propaganda and incitement" and "organizing a counterrevolutionary group," said Human Rights in China.
Hu, a former lecturer at Beijing Languages Institute, had helped set up a political party and an independent labor union. He had also been active in planning activities to commemorate victims of the government's June 1989 military crackdown in Tiananmen Square, when hundreds of people are believed to have been killed.
Hu was arrested in 1992 and convicted in 1994.
"We welcome the release of Hu Shigen, but it is tragic that Hu had to suffer so many years of abuse, serious health problems, and harsh conditions," Human Rights in China Executive Director Sharon Hom said in a statement late Tuesday.
Hu remains subject to a five-year ban on his political rights, which includes free speech, right of assembly and right of association.