Dissident faces slow recovery

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 10 March, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 10 March, 1993, 12:00am

DISSIDENT editor Li Guiren is slowly recovering at his home in Xian after he was released from prison three weeks ago, according to sources close to the family.

The editor, who was jailed more than three years ago for trying to organise a strike in the central China city after the 1989 crackdown in Beijing, had been told that he should avoid foreign visitors.

But unlike other dissidents, Li apparently has not been visited by police since his release.

According to sources who have met Li after his release, the 50-year-old editor of the Hua Yue Publishing House looked fragile, but in good spirits and did not appear to have suffered serious torture in prison.

Li was sentenced to five years in jail in 1989 on ''counter-revolutionary'' charges and was reportedly critically ill in prison.

It was believed that he suffered from heart disease and gallstones. His health deteriorated rapidly due to malnutrition in prison.

While in prison, Li who has lost all his teeth, reportedly ate little partly because of abdominal pains.

In late February, he was paroled to receive medical treatment when Beijing set free prominent student leaders Wang Dan and Guo Haifeng as well as Catholic priest Zhu Hongsheng.

Despite his ordeal, Li has not admitted his alleged crime and insisted his trial was illegal.

Little known to the outside world, the humanist editor was esteemed in the mainland literary circle and has written many articles and reviews of other dissident authors and artists.