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China releases jailed Swedish human rights activist

China has deported Peter Dahlin, a human rights activist who was seen giving a confession on Chinese state television last week. President Xi Jinping has recently made moves to crack down on foreign NGOs.

The Swedish Foreign Ministry confirmed on Monday that Dahlin had been released.

"I welcome the fact that Peter Dahlin can now be reunited with his family in Sweden. This is the result of close contacts between the Swedish Foreign Ministry and Chinese representatives," Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said in a statement.

Dahlin, who was accused by Beijing of illegally training lawyers critical of the government, was immediately deported to his home country.

The Swedish human rights activist, co-founder of a non-governmental organization called the Chinese Urgent Action Working Group, disappeared earlier this month while trying to leave China.

NGO crackdown

Watch video 00:49

Chinese TV shows 'forced' confession from Swedish NGO leader

Last week, a dazed-looking Dahlin

appeared on state broadcaster CCTV,

where he apparently admitted to his alleged crimes.

The episode was seen as yet another instance in which the Chinese government, led by Xi Jinping, has sought to crack down on dissent. The country is currently considering a new law that could tighten controls on foreign NGOs operating within China.

Another Swedish national, the

Chinese-born bookseller Gui Minhai,

disappeared last year only to reappear on Chinese television in a similar incident. The Swedish government said it is working with Beijing to clarify the charges leveled against both men.

blc/cmk (AFP, AP)

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