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Released writer tweets about life in a Chinese prison

Yang Zili's Twitter page describes his eight years in prison.

Siweiluozi’s Blog, an anonymous blog that covers various Chinese legal issues and current affairs, has translated a series of updates by Chinese writer Yang Zili, who was arrested in 2001 and later convicted of subversion against the state for online articles. Released last year after serving eight years, Yang joined Twitter and has been describing his incarceration in a series of short posts. 

Here’s an extract that displays Yang’s spirit during his ordeal:

My interrogator asked me, “Why did you write this article?” “That's the way I thought,” I answered. “Don't I have freedom of thought and freedom of speech?” He answered: “As long as it’s in your mind, you have freedom of thought. As soon as you speak, it becomes action!” Looking at it this way, since the constitution says nothing about “freedom to breathe,” every breath I take must be illegal.

(Read the Chinese here.)

Twitter is frequently blocked within China but remains popular among Chinese Web users familiar with circumvention software to overcome the blocks, according to CPJ research. 

CPJ records at least 24 journalists still imprisoned in China.

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