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Political Prisoners

February 19, 2009 | Jeffrey Fleishman and Noha El-Hennawy
An Egyptian dissident whose imprisonment had strained relations between Cairo and Washington for more than three years was unexpectedly freed Wednesday in an apparent goodwill gesture toward the new Obama administration. Ayman Nour, who ran against President Hosni Mubarak in 2005 and was later imprisoned on widely criticized forgery charges, was released for medical reasons, the prosecutor's office said.
September 24, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
Myanmar's longest-serving political prisoner was freed with more than 9,000 other inmates, days before the first anniversary of the government's crackdown on anti-government protests. Win Tin, a journalist-turned-activist and aide to pro-democracy opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, was held for 19 years. He was one of at least seven political prisoners released, Amnesty International said. The rights group said an estimated 2,100 political prisoners are held in Myanmar, formerly Burma, which has been under military rule for 46 years and is one of the world's poorest and most authoritarian nations.
August 9, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
The military government arrested 48 activists on a protest march to mark the 20th anniversary of a pro-democracy uprising in which an estimated 3,000 people were killed, an opposition official said. The group of mainly young men staged a silent walk through the northwestern town of Taunggok before being stopped by police. Leaders of the 1988 uprising have been behind bars since the start of demonstrations last August over increases in the price of fuel. They are just a few of an estimated 1,100 political prisoners.
July 3, 2008 | Don Lee, Times Staff Writer
After more than a decade in a Shanghai prison, a Chinese-American entrepreneur whose case illustrated the perils of doing business in China and the nation's tenuous rule of law was released Wednesday on parole. Jude Shao, 45, had about five years left on a 16-year sentence for tax evasion and fraud -- allegations that his supporters say were false.
April 27, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
A friend of a popular Saudi blogger said authorities had released the writer months after arresting him without charge. Fouad Farhan is one of the few Saudi bloggers who uses his real name. His blog discusses freedom, justice, equality and Islamic values, frequently touching on subjects that are sensitive or taboo in Saudi society. After his arrest, a letter was posted on his website saying authorities were after him for writing about political prisoners. Ahmad Omran, Farhan's friend, said he learned of the release through a text message sent to his cellphone by Farhan's wife.
January 12, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
Detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi met with a representative of the government for the first time in nearly two months, the government announced. The government-appointed liaison official, Aung Kyi, met with Suu Kyi for an hour and 10 minutes at a government guest house, their fourth meeting.
December 27, 2007 | Bruce Wallace, Times Staff Writer
Abid Raza Zaidi winces occasionally as he tells how police hung him upside down and beat him with leather straps to get him to confess to taking part in a deadly bombing in Karachi. He remembers being forced to stand for hours without rest, and the strange serenity he felt when police said they had determined he was guilty and would execute him in the morning. The police eventually let him go.
November 22, 2007 | From Times Wire Services
Law Minister Afzal Hayder announced on state television Wednesday that the government had released 5,634 lawyers and political party members, including Imran Khan, a former cricket star who has become a firebrand in the opposition to President Pervez Musharraf. Early today, Pakistan's Supreme Court dismissed a final challenge to Musharraf's reelection, the new chief justice said, paving the way for him to quit as army chief.
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