Guo Zhongxiao, one of two Hong Kong journalists jailed in Shenzhen for sending political magazines to the mainland, has been released from prison but will not return to Hong Kong for the time being.

Wang’s lawyer Chen Nansha told Apple Daily: “Wang did not appeal. I saw him after the ruling. If it would help we would definitely appeal, but [with] Chinese characteristics… he knows very well that appealing would be useless, would have no meaning. Guo Zhongxiao is out [of prison], he went abroad, he’s not in Shenzhen.”

Guo Zhongxiao
Guo Zhongxiao and the New-Way Monthly magazine.

Guo Zhongxiao and Wang Jianmin were both sentenced to prison terms in July by a Shenzhen court for sending political magazines to eight readers in the mainland. The two journalists were taken into custody in May 2014; at the time of the ruling, they had already been detained for two years.

According to Apple Daily’s sources in Shenzhen, Guo left the Nanshan detention centre after serving his sentence. He was met by his family and has gone abroad with them. He will be out of contact for the time being as he wants to rest, said the source.

Multiple Face New-Way Monthly
Multiple Face and New-Way Monthly magazines. Photo: Twitter.

The journalists were accused of earning around HK$7.8 million through publishing the New-Way Monthly and Multiple Face magazines. The two magazines often reported on the internal struggles of the Communist Party. Wang was the publisher of the magazines while Guo acted as an editor. Wang was sentenced to five years and three months in prison, while Guo was sentenced to two years and three months.

See also: Jail sentences for two HK journalists in China ‘destroy One Country, Two Systems principle’, says returned bookseller.

Both Wang and Guo were originally from the mainland but became Hong Kong permanent residents. Wang is also a naturalised US citizen.

Wang was also found guilty of bid-rigging and bribery. Though he initially refused to plead guilty, he eventually relented and said in court that he was “sorry to the party, sorry to the country.” Both men pleaded guilty in a trial in November last year.

Catherine is a Canadian journalist and photographer who lived in Beijing for almost two years, working in TV and online media. Aside from Hong Kong and mainland affairs, she is also interested in urban spaces, art and feminism. She holds a BA in Literature and Art History from the University of British Columbia.