World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


CHINA: Crackdown on dissident writers continues


HUMAN RIGHTS DAY (10 December)

CHINA: Crackdown on dissident writers continues.

The United Nations International Human Rights Day falls every year on 10 December. This year, International PEN is marking the day with an action to protest the large numbers of writers and journalists detained in the People's Republic of China (P.R.C).

China has long been a major concern for International PEN as a country that has consistently held among the highest numbers of writers and journalists in prison. Today PEN has on its records 46 cases in the P.R.C., some serving sentences of up to 19 years. Among them is Shi Tao, who was arrested in November 2004 and is currently serving a ten-year prison sentence for 'illegally leaking state secrets overseas' solely for sending an email. Also Uighur writer Nurehamet Yasin and his publisher Korash Huseyin, imprisoned since 2004 and serving 3 and 10 year sentences respectively for allegedly 'inciting Uighur separatism ' in Yasin's short story Wild Pigeon (Yawa Kepter).

Since August this year, PEN has observed with some concern a steady rise in the number of new arrests. They include Zhang Jianhong (aka Li Hong), a prominent writer, arrested on 6 September 2006 and charged on 12 October with 'inciting subversion', and Yan Zhengxue, a dissident writer and member of Independent Chinese PEN Centre (ICPC), arrested on 18 October 2006 also on subversion charges. Both are held for their critical writings published online and dissident activities.

Former prisoners consistently report high levels of ill-treatment and medical neglect in Chinese prisons, which adds to PEN's concerns for the welfare of those detained. Those held in pre-trial detention are particularly at risk, for example Tibetan writer Dolma Kyab, who reportedly contracted tuberculosis whilst in pre-trial detention at the TAR Public Security Bureau Detention Centre.

Commentators suggest that the rise in arrests signifies a crackdown on Chinese dissidents in advance of the 2008 Olympic Games, aimed at silencing those who may attempt to use the Games as an opportunity to raise criticism of the authorities. International PEN will be monitoring the situation for freedom of expression in China as the Olympic Games nears, and will rally writers from around the world to campaign for the release of all writers detained in the P.R.C. for their critical writings and dissident activities.


Please send appeals:

- protesting the detention of all writers currently detained in the P.R.C., and calling for their immediate and unconditional release in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which China became a signatory in 1998;

- seeking immediate assurances that they are not ill-treated in prison;

- urging the authorities to respect their basic rights whilst detained and to granted them full access to their families, lawyers and any necessary medical care.

A full list of writers detained in China is available on request. PEN centres are encouraged to elect any main cases as members of their centre. Please contact this office for background packs.

Government addresses:

His Excellency Hu Jintao

President of the People's Republic of China

State Council

Beijing 100032


Procurator General Mr. Jia Chunwang

Supreme People's Procuratorate

Beiheyan Street 147

100726 Beijing


Please note that there are no fax numbers for the Chinese authorities. WiPC recommends that you copy your appeal to the Chinese embassy in your country asking them to forward it and welcoming any comments.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news