An elderly protester ordered to undergo one year of re-education through labour has been released early by authorities in Weinan, Shaanxi, after being asked to promise not to demand more flood-relief money. Farmer Liu Huairong, 82, a representative of relocated peasants, was released on Lunar New Year's Eve. He was detained by police along with three other representatives on October 23 during protests over flood relief payments relating to the 2003 Wei River floods. The men, who were charged with 'instigating illegal farmer gatherings, disturbing public order and snatching government land', were leading thousands of former villagers demanding the payment of relief money allocated by Beijing to victims of the flood and the return of farmland that belonged to their ancestors before the building of the Sanmenxia dam. The other representatives were Zhang Xuxiang, 53, Hou Huancheng, 57, and 68-year-old Ma Lianbao . Mr Ma, who suffers from high blood pressure, was released early last month after his son paid his 5,000 yuan bail. Mr Liu, whose family paid 3,000 yuan in bail, said he had been forced to make a written promise that he 'would not mind other people's business'. 'But I just wrote that 'I would only mind proper business rather than unimportant matters', and signed my name,' he said, adding that there were different definitions of 'business' and 'matters'. 'I see all the business relating to relocated farmers as proper business, while everything else is unimportant. But the authorities have their own definitions, which I think are wrong.' Mr Liu's son, Liu Gangtai, said the authorities told him to keep his father away from demonstrations and from meeting other farmers. 'I said I would try my best. But I also told them that I would only keep my promise to people who kept their promises. You know, the authorities always fail to keep their word,' the son said. A Weinan municipal government official said Mr Liu was released in response to Beijing's decision to assign a special team to investigate the embezzlement of more than 50 million yuan from flood-relief funds in Shaanxi. 'The special team appointed by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the Ministry of Civil Affairs will arrive in Shaanxi after the Lunar New Year holiday,' the official said.