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China: released

According to social media reports, Chinese human rights lawyer and religious freedom defender Zhang Kai was released on 23 March and is back in his hometown in Inner Mongolia.

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Zhang Kai was detained on 25 August 2015 and accused of ‘disturbing social order’, stealing and spying, among other crimes. During six months’ detention under ‘residential surveillance at a designated location’, Zhang had no contact with his family or his lawyer and was then placed in criminal detention. On 25 February, Zhang was shown on state media giving a televised ‘confession’ admitting to ‘disturbing social order’, ‘endangering state security’ and behaving in an unprofessional manner. Activists believe this confession was made under duress.