Chinese reporter jailed over Yahoo email released
on 08/09/2013 12:33:12
Shi Tao was released on August 23, 15 months before the end of his sentence, the Independent Chinese Pen Centre said in a statement today. There was no indication why he was released early.
Shi was arrested in 2004 and sentenced to prison the following year on charges of disclosing state secrets.
He had sent details of a government memo about restrictions on news coverage to a human rights forum in the United States.
Human rights activists and US politicians criticised Yahoo for disclosing details of Shi's email to the Chinese government, which led to his conviction.
Yahoo, based in Sunnyvale, California, said it was obligated to comply with Chinese government demands for information.
But at a US congressional hearing in November, 2007, the company's chief executive, Jerry Yang, apologised to Shi's family.
Shortly after that, Yahoo settled lawsuits brought by the families of Shi and Wang Xiaoning, a dissident who was imprisoned on subversion charges after the company's Hong Kong affiliate disclosed contents of his email account to Chinese authorities.
Yahoo turned over control of its email and other services in China to a local partner, Alibaba Group, in 2005. The US company bought a 40% stake in Alibaba.
Yahoo closed its email service in China last month and recommended users switch to a service run by Alibaba.