PEN International’s Open Letter: Time for China to release writers, journalists and activists

pen2016Today, on World Human Rights Day, our Pen International community of writers, readers, activists and publishers condemn the Chinese authorities’ sustained and increasing attack on free expression and call for an immediate end to China’s worsening crackdown on fundamental human rights. Continue reading

China: PEN renews its calls to release all writers, journalists and publishers

pen-digital-freedom-logo7 December 2016

RAN 24/16

 

 

Ahead of World Human Rights Day, PEN International reiterates its calls on the Chinese authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all writers, journalists, bloggers and publishers held for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of opinion, expression and association. The number of detained and imprisoned writers in China is among the highest in the world. PEN also calls on the authorities to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights without further delay. Continue reading

ICPC Statement on PEN International Day of Imprisoned Writers–Two Writers Honoured the Liu Xiaobo Courage to Write Award

The Independent Chinese PEN Center (ICPC) has honoured two imprisoned writers, HU Shigen and Mahvash SABET (f, Iran) the ICPC’s 2016 Liu Xiaobo Courage to Write Award for their courage and perseverance in writing and fighting for freedom of experission and other basic rights despite the long-term imprisonment. In addition, ICPC have named six writers as new honorary members, including ZHANG Haitao, Shokjang (Tibetan), LU Yuyu, HUANG Wenxun, LI Tingyu (f) and WANG Yuping. Continue reading

PEN International Letter to ICPC President Tienchi Martin-Liao

pi-letter20160618

The 7th Congress of ICPC Membership Assembly Held on Internet

Press Release
9 Feburary 2016

ICPC-logoThe Independent Chinese PEN Center (ICPC) held its 7th Congress of Membership Assembly at a Google group forum on Internet on 22 Janurary – 09 Feburary 2016. Among ICPC’s 318 members, 162 participated in the Congress. According to the agenda adopted by the Congress, five sessions were held. The Congress adopted an amendment to ICPC’s Rules of Procedure of Membership Assembly, approved the work report and financial report submitted by the Board and elected the new Board in accordance with the ICPC’s Charter. Columnist Mrs. Tienchi Martin-Liao, a former president, has been re-elected the new President.
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PEN International interview series marks International Women’s Day 2017

8 March 2017

It is the extraordinary legacy of women writers and journalists that inspire us at PEN to continue fighting the many barriers women writers still face. Whether that is censorship in the form of physical or emotional violence, a society that stereotypes and marginalizes them, or a publishing industry that still sees women earning less, publishing less, and being reviewed less than their male peers. This is a struggle that affects us all because everyone needs the stories, voices, and craft women writers have always offered – despite a huge number of challenges – in such abundance. The stories, rhythms, and power of women writers have created new worlds, both real and fictional, in which readers can lose and find themselves, glean inspiration to live more visibly and inhabit women’s knowledge. Continue reading

Julia Lovell: The Cultural Revolution on Trial by Alexander Cook review – a sensational moment in Chinese history

Yao Wenyuan

Irrational premise … Yao Wenyuan, a writer and member of the Gang of Four, is tried in 1980. Photograph: Tang Likui/AP

China’s civil society has suffered badly in the political crackdown of the last four years: journalists are stifled by ever-tightening constraints; intellectuals are nervous of even saying the president’s name in company, for fear of being seen as denigrating the cult of “Uncle Xi”. Above all, the Chinese Communist party (CCP) has rained down blows on the rule of law. Legal personnel have been held for months in “black” prisons without access to counsel and been shackled, tortured, their family members harassed. On 14 January this year, China’s chief justice aggressively emphasised that the law was subservient to party writ: “We should resolutely resist erroneous influence from the west: ‘constitutional democracy’, ‘separation of powers’ and ‘independence of the judiciary’. We must make clear our stand and dare to show the sword.” Continue reading

Mexican Journalists Stand in Solidarity with US journalists

PENMarch 6, 2017

To our colleagues in the United States of America,

At this time of an unprecedented, relentless assault on the free press of the United States by the Trump administration, we Mexican journalists, writers, and publishers stand in solidarity with you as you do your crucial work. Continue reading

Chinese Attorney Defends Torture Report Amid Accusations of ‘Fake News’

Screenshot of detained lawyer Jiang Tianyong

Screenshot of detained lawyer Jiang Tianyong in interview with Beijing-backed satellite broadcaster Phoenix TV in which Jiang inaccurately stated he made up claims his client Xie Yang, another detained lawyer, was tortured, March 2, 2017. Public domain

Claims by official Chinese media that allegations of torture meted out to jailed human rights lawyer Xie Yang were “fake news” cooked up to appeal to “Western media tastes” were rejected by his defense lawyer on Thursday. Continue reading

PEN America Condemns Violent Attack on Speaker at Middlebury College

NEW YORK—PEN America condemned a violent attack on author Charles Murray and Middlebury College Professor Allison Stanger that took place on the evening of Thursday, March 2, 2017, when Murray was invited to speak on campus. Continue reading

Attack on BBC Crew Reflects Threat to Foreign Journalists in China

NEW YORK—The assault and coerced confession of a BBC camera crew in rural China, just days before China’s National People’s Congress, is a violation of clearly established rules allowing journalists to travel and report freely in the country and an effort to suppress coverage of sensitive subjects, PEN America said in a statement today. Continue reading

China accuses rights activist of ‘fake news’ fabricating torture

By Christian Shepherd | BEIJING

BEIJING Chinese state media said on Thursday that a prominent Chinese rights activist had made up “fake news” of torture to grab international headlines, but his defenders said the accusations were a coordinated attempt to smear his name. Continue reading

China – Tibet: PEN reiterates its calls for the release of writer and editor Kunchok Tsephel Gopey Tsang

Kunchok-Tsephel-Gopey-Tsang1 March 2017 – PEN International reiterates its calls on the Chinese authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Tibetan writer and editor, Kunchok Tsephel Gopey Tsang.  Gopey Tsang, the co-founder/editor of the Tibetan language website Chomei (The Lamp), www.tibetcm.com, was convicted of “disclosing state secrets” on 12 November 2009, and is currently serving a 15-year prison sentence. 26 February 2017 marked the eighth anniversary of his arrest. On the basis of the available evidence, PEN International believes that he is very likely to have been imprisoned solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression. PEN is also concerned by reports of the deterioration of Gopey Tsang’s health and calls on the authorities to ensure that he is granted access to all necessary medical care. Continue reading