China frees doctor who challenged Tiananmen record

China has freed the doctor who sounded the alert on SARS and later criticized the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, his wife said Wednesday.

Chinese officials have freed the doctor who sounded the alert on SARS last year and was imprisoned in June for urging the government to acknowledge it mishandled the 1989 Tiananmen Square protest, his wife said Wednesday.

Authorities released Dr. Jiang Yanyong on Monday night.

His wife, Hua Zhongwei, told the Associated Press that the 72-year-old military surgeon is "in very good health" and was not mistreated during his incarceration.

Back in February, Jiang wrote a letter asking Chinese leaders to declare that the non-violent Tiananmen Square student protests were a patriotic movement and not a counter-revolutionary riot as the official record now says.

Hundreds or perhaps even thousands of people died when Chinese troops moved in on the protesters who had gathered in the popular Beijing square in May 1989.

Jiang also wanted a "resolution of errors committed by our party" during the Tiananmen Square affair.

He rose to international attention in the spring of 2003 when he blew the whistle on the true extent of severe acute respiratory syndrome in China's capital, causing the government some embarrassment before it agreed to open its records on the epidemic.