China has released and deported a Swedish activist who was detained on charges of damaging national security. Peter Dahlin had been held since early January during a crackdown on human-rights lawyers and activists. The Swedish embassy confirmed Tuesday that he had left China. The 35-year-old appeared on Chinese state media last week to say he had violated a law through his organization, Chinese Urgent Action Working Group (China Action), and its support of local human-rights lawyers. China Action called the report “absurd” and said the confession appeared to be forced. Dahlin’s group assists uncertified lawyers who provide legal aid in rural areas.