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Larry Siems, (212) 334-1660 ext. 105
New York City, December 27, 2011—PEN American Center reacted angrily to the news that the Chinese government has again used the cover of the year-end holidays to try and sentence two writers to long prison terms for essays they published on overseas websites, calling the timing of the convictions “deliberate and cynical.” Continue reading
RAN 66/11 23 December 2011
The Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC) of PEN International condemns the imprisonment of the writer Chen Wei. An honorary member of the Independent Chinese PEN Centre and winner of the Liu Xiaobo Courage to Write award, Chen Wei was sentenced on 23 December 2011 to nine years in prison for ‘subversive writing.’ The conviction is based on articles published on Chinese websites overseas. The WiPC calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Chen Wei. Continue reading
Dear Jiri, dear Igor and the friends of the Czech PEN,
The Independent Chinese PEN (ICPC), my Chinese colleagues and I are deeply saddened that Mr. Václav Havel has passed away on December 18th.
Mr. Havel was a great humanist. His humanity illuminated both his literary and political achievements. As a past victim of the communist-dictatorship, he set up an example, how powerful a powerless is in fighting for the freedom and human dignity.Havel’s spirit and courage have inspired generations of Chinese intellectuals. People devour his books and speeches. The former president of ICPC, Mr. Liu Xiaobo,has been a follower of Mr. Havel ever since he was a young writer in the 80s. He has modeled Charter 77 and initiated with others the Charter 08 in searching for a democratic future of China in 2008. After Liu’s arrest and sentence, Mr. Havel has shown his solidarity with Liu Xiaobo and appealed repeatedly for his release. He also nominated Liu to Noble Peace Prize. On December 10th this year, despite his bad health, Mr. Havel still lauched the Forum 2000 Conference in Prague, a roundtable focused on the democracy and human rights situation in Asia as well as in commemoration of the first anniversary of the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo.The world and the Chinese intellectuals will keep Václav Havel in their memory as paragon and friend. The world becomes more beautiful and dignified because of you.
In deep condolence and gratitude
President of the Independent Chinese PEN Center
By Chris Buckley and Sui-Lee Wee
BEIJING (Reuters) – China has sent human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng back to jail, state news agency Xinhua reported on Friday, ending his probation in what was the first official account of his whereabouts in the last year. Continue reading
BEIJING, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) — A Beijing court Friday withdrew probation on a former lawyer convicted of inciting to overthrow the state power and put him back in jail.
Gao Zhisheng, 47, was sentenced to three years in prison with five years of probation and deprived of political rights for one year on Dec. 22, 2006, said a statement from the Beijing First Intermediate People’s Court.
He had seriously violated probation rules for a number of times, which led to the court decision to withdraw the probation, the statement said.
Gao, holding a residence permit of the city of Urumqi in Xinjiang, had been a lawyer based in Beijing before the conviction.
He would serve his term in prison in next three years, the statement said.
10 December 2011 (International Human Rights Day) marks the first anniversary of the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to our colleague Liu Xiaobo, former president of the Independent Chinese PEN Centre (ICPC). One year on, he and over thirty other writers remain in prison in China, and many more suffer ‘soft’ detention, surveillance, and censorship. PEN International demands their immediate and unconditional release, and calls upon its members to use this anniversary to publicise the deteriorating human rights climate in the People’s Republic of China and to express solidarity with their imprisoned colleagues.
A year ago today, on International Human Rights Day, our colleague Liu Xiaobo, former president of the Independent Chinese PEN Centre (ICPC) was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. One year on, he and over thirty other writers remain in prison in China. PEN International demands their immediate and unconditional release, and calls upon its members to take action to publicise the deteriorating human rights climate in the People’s Republic of China. Continue reading