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

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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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227. LIU YANLI (Released)

liu-yanliPen name                Zhuaizhuai Reappearing
Sex                               Female

Birth date                1975-06-01

Birth place              Jingmen City, Hubei Province

Resident place       Dongbao District, Jingmen City, Hubei Province

Education                 Colleage Continue reading

27. JIANG LIJUN (Released)

Jiang LijunSex                               Male

Birth date                 1966-08-26

Birth place               Tieling City, Liaoning Province

Resident place         Diaobingshan City, Liaoning Province Continue reading

208. LI HEPING (Released)

Li HepingSex                              Male
Birth date               1970-10-26
Birth place            Luoshan County,  Henan Province
Resident place       Beijing
Education                 LL.B from Henan University (1995), LL.M from Renmin University of China (2005) Continue reading

‘Emaciated, unrecognisable’: China releases human rights lawyer from custody

by Tom Phillips in Beijing

Li Heping was held in secret for two years and deprived of all contact with his family but is now back home

Chinese human rights lawyer Li Heping (right) is released from custody

Chinese human rights lawyer Li Heping (right) is released from custody after two years in which he was tried in secret. Photograph: Handout Photograph: Handout

Chinese human rights lawyer Li Heping (right) is released from custody after two years in which he was tried in secret. Photograph: Handout
Chinese human rights lawyer Li Heping (right) is released from custody after two years in which he was tried in secret. Photograph: Handout Photograph: Handout

The last time Terry Halliday saw Li Heping, just a few days before he was snatched by police in the summer of 2015, he remembers sitting down to lunch with a stimulating, thoughtful and physically fit man.

“Slim, yes, but not emaciated. A man clearly in his 40s … A man who was fully present,” the American Bar Foundation scholar recalled.

Just days later Li, a crusading Chinese human rights lawyer, was spirited into secret custody at the start of an unprecedented government crackdown on his trade that has drawn widespread international condemnation.

On Tuesday afternoon, after almost two years languishing behind bars, Li finally emerged, having been secretly tried and handed a suspended sentence for “subversion of state power” at the end of last month.

Photographs and a brief video clip posted online showed the Christian attorney, now 46, being reunited with his wife and daughter, Wang Qiaoling and Li Jiamei, at their family home in Beijing.

“I have to say I didn’t recognise him in the [photo],” said Halliday, the author of a book on China’s human rights lawyers, who like many was disturbed at the toll incarceration appeared to have inflicted on his friend.

“[He looked] very thin. He’s aged about 20 years. His hair has gone grey. He’s gone through a torturous time, I would say,” Halliday added. “I would defy anybody … to imagine that so much transformation could have occurred over two years.”

“The only thing that I recognised was his smile: that wonderful smile of his that has always been a reflection of his warmth and his kindness.”

As news of Li’s release spread on social media, friends and supporters expressed a similar mix of relief and outrage.

“This is Li Heping? Almost unrecognizable!” Liu Xiaoyuan, a prominent rights lawyer who clients have included the dissident artist Ai Weiwei, tweeted alongside an image of the lawyer’s homecoming.

“Hair completely white,” tweeted Zhang Dajun, a Chinese legal scholar.

“Visibly emaciated,” tweeted human rights researcher Ye Shiwei alongside footage of Li’s first hug with his wife and daughter in more than 600 days.

A photo of a printed family photo of Li Jiamei-her father and imprisoned lawyer Li Heping and her mother Wang Qiaoling at home in Beijing

A photo of a printed family photo of Li Jiamei, 6, her father and imprisoned lawyer Li Heping and her mother Wang Qiaoling at home in Beijing, China. Photograph: Adam Dean/THE GUARDIAN

Zhong Jinhua, a former judge and government critic, wrote: “Thank God!” Li Heping finally [back] home.”

Halliday said he was delighted, relieved and gratified by Li’s release despite his obvious physical deterioration.

“Friends and supporters and NGOS and governments and churches have been hoping and praying for this since [he was taken on] 10 July 2015,” he said.

“I think this demonstrates how sensitive China’s government is to the unrelenting pressure that has come from all sides,” over its so-called “war on law” crackdown.

However, Halliday cautioned against interpreting Li’s release as a sign that Beijing was showing leniency or mercy to a man who has been held without charge for nearly two years on what supporters and diplomats believe were politically-motivated charges.

“We have got to be very sober that this is no release by the standards of any rule-of-law country. He is going to be … quarantined with his family. There will be cameras outside his building and outside his apartment. There will be security people on mattresses or chairs sitting outside his front door. They may be under audio or video surveillance inside their apartment. They won’t be able to go anywhere at all without having security people accompany them, whether it is to the grocery store or the park.”

Halliday added: “He’s lost his income and his living. He’ll be kept away from his church. He will be shielded from other lawyers, from his Christian friends. So while I’m very glad that he is no longer in a formal jail, many of us who watch this … believe that China has substituted the formal jail for an invisible prison in the hope that the optics will be better for international audiences.”

Chinese authorities claim that at his secret trial Li pleaded guilty to using social media and interviews with foreign media to attack China’s political and legal systems and having colluded with “individuals engaged in illegal religious activities”.

In the nearly two years since her husband was seized, Li’s wife Wang Qiaoling has emerged as a feisty and sharp-witted campaigner who has refused to be cowed into silence by pressure from China’s security services.

During a meeting with the Guardian last May she burst into laughter when asked what she most missed about her husband. “What do you think I most miss about my husband?” she replied.

On Wednesday morning, Wang again appeared in high spirits although she said she had been shocked when she first set eyes on her husband who she hardly recognised.

“He has changed completely, his appearance, his physical looks… [he is] so different from the husband I remember,” she said by phone.

Wang said her husband seemed “fine mentally” but had “wasted away”. She said he had told her of the “sufferings” he had endured while in prison. “I am pretty sure he was treated with great cruelty.”

Despite his release, Wang said her husband was “absolutely not free” and could not be interviewed at this stage.

“We are now being followed by six or seven tall, burly men. They simply follow us wherever we go,” she complained.

Additional reporting by Wang Zhen

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/10/emaciated-unrecognisable-china-releases-human-rights-lawyer-from-custody

196. CHEN YUNFEI

Chen YunfeiPen name                CHEN YUNFEI
Sex                               Male

Birth date               1967-08-13

Birth place              Da County, Suchuan Province

Resident place       Wuhou District, Chengdu City, Sichuan Province Continue reading

China Jails Tiananmen Protest Veteran For Four Years After Grave Visit

A court in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan on Friday handed down a four-year jail term to a veteran rights activist detained after visiting the grave of a 1989 Tiananmen massacre victim in 2015, finding him guilty of a public order offense. Continue reading

189. SU CHANGLAN

Su ChanglanPenname                      

Sex                                Female

Birth date                1971-07-18

Birth place               Cenxi City, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region

Resident place          Nanhai District, Foshan City, Guangdong Province Continue reading

An ‘absurd verdict’: Jail terms for China activists who voiced support for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy Occupy protests

Two activists who voiced support on social media for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy Occupy protests in 2014 have been sentenced to jail terms by a court in Guangdong, south China, on Friday.

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