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Liu Yuandong

Liu Yuandong, a Chinese biologist and director of a small biotech company, was one of a number of individuals detained on February 23, 2013, while taking part in a peaceful protest in Guangzhou City against a recent nuclear test conducted by North Korea near the Chinese border. In addition to his professional work as a biologist and entrepreneur, Dr. Liu had been actively involved in a number of peaceful social justice protests in China, including taking part in a demonstration, the month before his arrest, to show solidarity with journalists of the Southern Weekly after local government officials censored several of the newspaper's articles on democratic political reform in China. The other protestors detained with him were released shortly thereafter. In April 2013 he was formally arrested for “gathering a crowd to disrupt order of a public place.” Additionally, new charges of fiscal impropriety were brought against him for allegedly withdrawing some of the capital he had contributed to his small new tech company following its incorporation in 2011—some two years after the alleged incident was to have taken place. In January 2014 Dr. Liu was brought to trial in a one-day hearing that did not meet international fair trial standards. Despite numerous complaints filed by his lawyer, the Tianhe District People's Court did not hand down a verdict in Dr. Liu’s case until November 27, 2015. He was convicted of “gathering a crowd to disrupt order of a public place” and sentenced to three years in prison. The fiscal-related charges were rescinded. Dr. Liu was released from prison on March 10, 2016.