07/20/2004, 00.00
CHINA
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Jiang Yanyong, doctor who exposed SARS, released

He called for reassessment of Tiananmen events. For the authorities he is politically infantile.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – Doctor Jiang Yanyong, who blew the whistle on China's SARS epidemic, has been released after being in custody of the Beijing police for more than a month, reported Duo Wei, a news agency set up by Chinese dissidents and pro-Democracy activists abroad. In an open letter, Dr Jiang had urged the Communist Party to reassess its judgement about the Tiananmen Square student movement. He and his wife Hua Zhongwei were reported as missing on June 1 ahead of the June 3 anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre.

Jiang's US-based daughter Jiang Rui made the announcement of the release. She had urged Chinese authorities to reveal where they were holding her father. She said that her father was freed on the night of July 19. "He called home this morning, July 20," she said, "and told me: I just got back."

Several AsiaNews sources claim that it is impossible for Dr. Jiang to be completely free, and that it is likely he is still under some form of duress. According to the same sources he was confined to Military Hospital No. 309, near the Summer Palace, on the western side of Beijing.

Authorities are said to have subjected him to "study sessions" in order to modify his views about Tiananmen but with little success. For this reason they are said to consider him "politically infantile."

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