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Advocates: U.S. Geologist Released From Prison In China

Xue Feng, an American geologist convicted of spying in China, has been freed from prison and will return to the U.S., according to a human rights group.

Posted on April 4, 2015, at 6:26 a.m. ET

U.S. geologist Xue Feng, who was sentenced to seven years in a Chinese prison in 2010 for stealing state secrets, has been released from prison, according to human rights advocates.

Xue Feng. Dec. 7, 1993.

Xue Feng. Dec. 7, 1993.

Due to good behavior, Xue's sentence was reduced by 10 months, according to the U.S.-based Dui Hua Foundation, a human rights organization that advocates for clemency and better treatment of detainees in China.

American Geologist Xue Feng 薛峰 was released & deported from #China On April 3.

Xue, a naturalized American citizen who received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, was working in China for American energy and engineering consulting firm IHS. He was jailed in November 2007 for selling his American employer an oil industry database, which Chinese officials deemed a state secret.

At the time of his release on Friday, Xue was the only American citizen serving prison time in China for the crime of endangering state security, according to the Dui Hua Foundation.

The geologist is reported to have been reunited with his family in Houston, his hometown.

John Kamm, Dui Hua's executive director, expressed his satisfaction with the decision in a statement to the press: "Dui Hua is delighted that Dr. Xue has finally been reunited with his family in America after a terrible ordeal. The foundation wishes him every success as he rebuilds his life."