BEIJING (AP) _ China released a prominent dissident today at the end of his three-year labor camp sentence he had received without trial for writing a petition calling for the impeachment of China's president, a human rights group said.

Liu Xiaobo, 44, was released from an ``education through labor'' camp in the northeastern port city of Dalian, the Hong Kong-based Information Center of Human Rights and Democratic Movement in China said.

It quoted Liu as saying that his health was good and that he planned to stay in Dalian for a while before returning to Beijing.

Liu was sentenced without trial in October 1996 after he co-authored a petition that called for self-determination for Tibet and the impeachment of President Jiang Zemin.

Liu, a literary critic and author, led a hunger strike among intellectuals in support of student democracy protesters on Tiananmen Square in 1989 and served 18 months in prison for his role in the protests. He was detained again for seven months in 1995 after signing a petition calling for democracy an the rule of law.

Chinese authorities can send people to labor camps for up to three years without trial.