Six pro-democracy groups in Hong Kong yesterday called for the release of mainland activist Wang Bingzhang, two days after the prominent dissident Xu Wenli was freed to the United States. The groups - including the April 5th Action Group, the China Democracy and Justice Party and the China Democracy Party - accused Beijing of masterminding the kidnap of Wang and two other dissidents, Zhang Qi and Yue Wu, in Vietnam in June and then taking them to the mainland. Beijing said last week it had arrested US-based Wang after he and the two other dissidents living in exile were 'rescued' by police in July in Guangxi province. Wang, who advocates democracy in China, was arrested on charges of spying for Taiwan and engaging in terrorist activities, which could carry the death sentence. Mr Yue and Ms Zhang have since been released. A spokesman for the six groups said Wang had been framed and should be released immediately. He said they would write to US President George W. Bush asking for his help to win the dissident's freedom. He also asked the mainland authorities to allow Wang to meet his families and lawyer. Wang was exiled to Canada in 1979 and has lived in New York since the 1980s. He is the founder of a pro-democracy magazine, China Spring, and a co-founder of two banned political groups, the China Alliance of Democracy and the China Democracy and Justice Party. He returned to China under a false name in 1998 to meet dissidents but was caught and expelled. Ms Zhang was granted political asylum in the US last year. She is the leader of Zhong Gong, a banned health and meditation sect. Mr Yue, who lives in Paris, was a labour leader in the 1989 pro-democracy protests.