Chinese Dissident Released after 12 Years

Veteran Chinese activist Qin Yongmin, shown in this April 1998 photo made off video while reading the declaration of a human rights group in Wuhan, will be put on trial for subversion of state power Thursday, Dec. 17, 1998 with another activist this week.

China has released a co-founder of a would-be opposition political party after he completed a 12-year jail term for endangering state security.

Qin Yongmin told reporters in telephone interviews Monday that he was taken from his cell and transported to a police station in his home city of Wuhan early in the morning.

He said officers confiscated his prison writings, which amounted to more than 20 million words and weighed hundreds of kilograms. He said they warned him before releasing him not to speak to reporters or meet other dissidents.

The 57-year-old dissident has a history of political activism and had already spent a number of years in prison before his latest conviction in 1998.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and DPA