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Chinese Family Allowed to Meet Freed Dissident

September 16, 1993| Associated Press

BEIJING — More than a day after releasing a prominent dissident from prison, Chinese authorities finally allowed him to meet family members and hand over a note saying he was resting.

"I will return to the city within a few days and meet with all my friends. Thank you all for your concern," Wei Jingsheng said in the note, which relatives released to reporters today.

Police took Wei's sister and brother to see the dissident Wednesday at a guest-house in a Beijing suburb.

It was the first contact the family was allowed with Wei, 43, since officials announced Tuesday that he was being released six months before the end of a 15-year prison term. The announcement came 10 days before the International Olympic Committee is due to decide the venue for the 2000 Olympic Games. Beijing is one of five contenders.

Wei was arrested in 1979 after writing essays calling for democracy and denouncing senior leader Deng Xiaoping as an autocrat.

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