Announcement of Nomination for 2015 Liu Xiaobo Courage to Write Award of Independent Chinese PEN Center

Title: Liu Xiaobo Courage to Write Award
Awardee: one or two individual annually;
Candidacy: Anyone in the case list of Writers in Prison Committee of International PEN who is still imprisoned or released under legal restriction of the right to freedom of expression, such as “deprivation of political rights”;
Nominator: Three individuals, or a PEN centre;
Nomination period: Starting on 23 June, anniversary of Liu Xiaobo’s formal arrest and ending on 8 October;
Date to announce the awardee: Writers in Prison Day on 15 November;
Awarding Items: a certificate or trophy, prize check and awarding statement.
Prize: 2000 US dollars;

Nomination must be written in English or Chinese and should include the followings,

1. The nominee’s full name
2. Description of the nominee’s achievements, Continue reading

PEN For Freedom (No.1-12)

PEN For Freedom (No.1-12, PDF) 

US Demands Release of 2 Detained Chinese Lawyers

B7E8753F-12AB-4532-84B3-ACF2FD605235_w640_r1_s (1)FILE – In this April 18, 2015 photo, Wang Yu, a lawyer for Chinese activist Li Tingting, speaks during an interview in Beijing.

Victor Beattie

September 02, 2015 4:17 AM

The United States has called for the release of Chinese lawyer Zhang Kai and a group of religious figures, including Christian pastors, accused of threatening public order Continue reading

Chinese Rights Activists Step Up Calls For Action Ahead of President’s Trip


Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch, speaks at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club in Hong Kong, May 13, 2015.

As Chinese President Xi Jinping gears up for his first state visit to the United States since assuming the presidency in 2013, calls are growing for U.S. and Chinese officials to make meaningful progress on human rights following a series of harsh crackdowns by his administration on critics of the ruling Chinese Communist Party.

“Xi has presided over the detentions and imprisonment of Continue reading

China punishes 197 over stock market and Tianjin ‘rumours’

Chinese authorities have punished 197 people for spreading rumours online about the recent stock market crash and fatal explosions in Tianjin, according to state news agency Xinhua.

A journalist and stock market officials are among those arrested, Xinhua said. It gave no other details.

Chinese shares fell by nearly 8% after a week of volatile trading Continue reading

Samantha Power: Remarks at the FreeThe20 Campaign Launch

CN2HdjPUkAA6FKhSamantha Power

U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations
Washington, DC
September 1, 2015

AMBASSADOR POWER: Thank you. Good afternoon. Twenty years ago, 189 governments and approximately 30,000 nongovernmental organizations – activists from around the globe convened in Beijing for a world conference to advance gender equality and women’s rights. Continue reading

China Religious Rights Lawyer Given 6 Months of Detention


wpid-wp-1441083362061.jpgFILE – Believers take part in a weekend mass at an underground Catholic church in Tianjin.

Hai Yan
August 31, 2015 4:37 PM

HONG KONG—Attorneys in China have confirmed that a prominent human rights lawyer has been put under six months of residential surveillance after being taken away by police from a Christian church in Wenzhou.

Colleagues of Zhang Kai told VOA Monday he has been confined on suspicion of “endangering state security “and “disturbing the public order,” two charges that are routinely brought against dissidents in China.

Human rights activists have told VOA that after taking away Zhang Kai and two assistants, Wenzhou police also detained more than 10 Christians, including pastors. Some have since been released, but most are still in custody.

The fate of Zhang’s assistants is not clear.

VOA called police in Wenzhou, but was unable to get a comment about the case.

Zhang was one of more than 100 human rights lawyers who were rounded up by Chinese authorities in July. His colleagues say he was later released after being warned not to hold any law lectures or represent any church cases.

He had been representing churches which have been battling official attempts to tear down crucifixes and houses of worship in Wenzhou. According to religious rights groups, about 1,500 crucifixes have been torn down in Zhejiang province, which includes Wenzhou. Several churches have been demolished.

Liu Xiaoyuan, another rights protection lawyer, told VOA that residential surveillance “are usually hotels, so the investigators can contact the parties directly. The party is left alone in the room, and the investigator keeps watch on him every day. This cause more psychological stress.”

He added that authorities use the charge of “endangering state security“ to prevent the lawyers from meeting with their clients.
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China Jails 45 Over Illegal Border Crossings in Northwestern Xinjiang


image (14)Two recently sentenced human smugglers are shown at their trial in Xinjiang in an undated photo.
From the Internet

Authorities in China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang have handed down jail terms to alleged human traffickers for helping people cross the border and illegally leave China, official media reported.

Forty-five people were tried in 10 separate cases in parts of the region near Continue reading

Setting a Stage for Kindness in Chinese Society

By DIDI KIRSTEN TATLOW August 27, 2015

In the children’s play “Five Fools,” Circus Master, right, learns a lesson about the power of kindness as she pressures Little Flower, left, to talk.
Wang Zhaohui

26sino-letter01-articleLargeAt the Drum Tower West Theater in Beijing last week, Circus Master was torturing Little Flower because she would not speak and was ruining the show.

She ordered Clown and Strong Man — other members of her troupe Continue reading

China Detains Lawyer in Zhejiang Amid Ongoing Cross Demolition Program


Lawyer Zhang Kai (C) is shown with two assistants in Wenzhou, Aug. 25, 2015.
Photo courtesy of an RFA listener.

Authorities in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang have detained a top Beijing rights lawyer who was advising local Christians in their bid to resist the demolition of crosses from local churches.

Zhang Kai had recently been based in the coastal city of Wenzhou, Continue reading