Category Archives: News & Events

German president slams communism in provocative speech to Shanghai students on his China visit

Joachim Gauck in ShanghaiGermany’s president has condemned the illegitimacy of Communist rule in East Germany and lauded the benefits of human rights in a provocative speech to Shanghai university students on Wednesday. Continue reading

Jennifer Clement wrote to Tienchi Martin-Liao

Dear Tienchi Martin-Liao, president of ICPC

You are well aware of how close to my heart the Independent Chinese PEN Centre is. In our troubled times, it is a sign of hope that you are meeting in Hong Kong to celebrate the centenary of the May Fourth Movement. PEN benefitted from this anti-imperialist movement and its defence of Chinese culture by including the active participation of Chinese writers as early as 1924, just after our first PEN International congress in 1923.

I am moved by the “Liu Xiaobo Courage to Write Award” you will be giving at the conference. Liu Xiaobo embodies the very core values of PEN International. His sacrifice has been understood by writers around the world as the promise that sooner than later the respect for Human Rights and Freedom will come back to China.

The fate of another of your very prominent members occupies my thoughts every day. One year ago, I chaired the session of the International Publishers Association congress where the Prix Voltaire was awarded to the courageous publisher and ICPC leader Gui Minhai. The whole PEN family and very especially Swedish PEN is campaigning to denounce the terrible circumstances of his kidnapping and imprisonment and to call for his immediate liberation for him to be able to join his daughter back in Sweden.

We will not hold our back, we will not stop our actions in his defence until he is free again.

I want all members of ICPC to feel the intense solidarity of PEN Centres with your struggle for the defence of freedom of thought, expression, writing and publishing in China. At the last Congress of PEN International, celebrated in the Indian city of Pune in September last year, we campaigned to denounce the intensification of China’s crackdown on Turkic Muslims, largely Uyghurs from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). While there is no official data, estimates suggest at least one million Turkic Muslims have been detained en masse and without charge in political re-education camps under the pretext of countering religious extremism; forced to submit to political indoctrination and prevented from practising their religion or expressing their culture. Among their number are reported to be well-respected academics such as Rahile Dawut and Abdukerim Rahman, writers and musicians such as Chimengül Awut, Ablajan Awut Ayup and Abduqadir Jalaleddin. This is a crime that resonates in all humanity. PEN will denounce it again and again.

Two years after the May Fourth Movement, PEN International was founded in London in 1921. We will celebrate our centenary in two years, and you are all welcome to celebrate it with PEN Centres worldwide. Since 1921, we have built a global web of solidarity, translation, encounters, debates and friendships. We have also given birth to a common voice to face injustice and attacks to freedom to write. May this letter be the messenger that tells you that, in the face of repression, you will never be alone. We stand by your side.

Jennifer Clement
PEN International


Chinese Rights Lawyer Jiang Tianyong Allowed Home Visit, Still ‘Not Free’

Authorities in the central Chinese province of Henan have allowed prominent human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong to return to his parents’ home, three days after his release at the end of a two-year jail term. Continue reading


liu-feiyueSex                              Male

Birth date              1970-02-05

Birth place             Sui County, Hubei Province

Resident place       Suizhou City, Hubei Province

Education                Colleage

Profession                 Internet writer and former teacher, founder and chief editor of Minsheng Guancha (Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch) website (ICPC member) Continue reading

Chinese activist Liu Feiyue given five years’ jail for ‘inciting subversion’

Xi Jinping takes a public oath of allegiance to the Constitution in the Great Hall of the People 13th National People’s Congress, Beijing, China Liu Feiyue is one of many Chinese human rights activists who have been swept up in Xi Jinping’s crackdown on dissent. Photograph: Xinhua/REX/Shutterstock

Flawed trial shows how Beijing abuses the judicial system to silence dissent, says Amnesty International

The founder of a prominent Chinese civil and human rights website has been sentenced to five years in prison for inciting state subversion, according to human rights organisations. Continue reading

Wang Quanzhang: China jails leading human rights lawyer

Wang Quanzhang went missing in a 2015 crackdown

China has sentenced prominent human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang to four and a half years in prison for state subversion.

Wang, 42, had defended political campaigners and victims of land seizures, as well as followers of the banned spiritual Falun Gong movement. Continue reading

Women’s Rights Have Been Repeatedly Violated in China

A Protest Statement about Persecution of Female Writers Including ICPC Member Liu Yanli

The Independent Chinese PEN Center (ICPC)
November 28, 2018

The Independent Chinese PEN Center (ICPC) was shocked to learn that Ms. Liu Yanli, ICPC member and well-known blogger was summoned by the police in Jingmen City, Hubei Province on November 21 2018. Her family was informed the next day that she was beaten up and sent to the hospital for emergency treatment. Her father and other family members then rushed to Jingmen. At the entrance of the Second People’s Hospital of Jingmen City, they were surrounded by several public security personnel and refused to enter the hospital to visit her. Immediately after that, the news was spread out that Liu Yanli was officially arrested with the approval by the procuratorate. Continue reading

PEN International: Resolution on the People’s Republic of China (2018)

 (Approved by the Assembly of Delegates of PEN International, meeting at its 84th World Congress, in Pune, India from 25-29 September 2018)

PEN International has for many years expressed concern about serious and sweeping restrictions on freedom of expression in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), including through resolutions adopted at its annual Congresses, most recently at its 83rd World Congress in September 2017. Continue reading

Final Verdict on Qin Yongmin from the Hubei Provincial High People’s Court

On September 26, 2018, the Hubei Provincial High People’s Court upheld a lower court’s ruling on veteran rights activist Qin Yongmin’s case: conviction of subversion of state power, a 13-year prison term, and three years of post-release deprivation of political rights. Continue reading