Category Archives: Rapid Action Network

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

China: Continued harassment of veteran journalist Gao Yu (f); health concerns

12 April 2016

Update #4 to RAN 09/14

Gao-YuPEN International is deeply concerned for the health of veteran journalist Gao Yu following reports that she was hospitalised after the Beijing Municipal Bureau of City Administration and Law Enforcement identified her garden for destruction on 31 March 2016. Gao Yu remains in hospital; her condition has now stabilised. PEN International calls on the Chinese authorities to stop harassing Gao Yu and to approve her application to be granted leave to travel to Germany for medical treatment. Continue reading

China: Conviction of veteran journalist Gao Yu upheld on appeal

26 November 2015                                                                                         

Update #3 to RAN 09/14

Gao-YuPEN International is deeply disappointed by the Beijing high court’s decision of 26 November 2015 not to overturn veteran journalist Gao Yu’s conviction for ‘leaking state secrets abroad’. Following a closed hearing held on 24 November, the court ruled to reduce her sentence to five years. PEN continues to condemn her conviction and sentence, and calls for her immediate and unconditional release. Nonetheless, PEN welcomes reports that Gao Yu is due to serve the remainder of her sentence under house arrest due to concerns for her deteriorating health and strongly urges the Chinese authorities to ensure that Gao Yu is afforded adequate medical care. Continue reading

China’s Independent NGOs Face Hard Times

A translation of a VOA report in Chinese, published: March 11, 2015

Professor Xia Min of CUNY: “Xi’s fear is exactly that the maturing of civil society will organically provide, with the organizing capacity and solidarity within Chinese society, a platform for the building of political parties.”

A documentary produced by the well-known investigative journalist Chai Jing, Continue reading

Saudi Arabia: Imprisoned editor Raif Badawi may face death penalty

According to unconfirmed reports, Raif (or Raef) Badawi, who was sentenced by a Saudi Arabian court to 10 years in prison, 1,000 lashes , a fine, a 10-year travel ban and 10-year media participation ban for “insulting Islam” and “founding a liberal website”, may now face a retrial for Continue reading

Finalists for the 2015 Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk

3093-45Jury announces the Finalists for the 2015 Front Line Defenders AwardJury announces the Finalists for the 2015 Front Line Defenders Award

On Wednesday 04 March the Jury for the 2015 Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk announced the 5 finalists for this year’s Award, all of whom are either in jail, Continue reading

China: PEN renews calls for release of poet Liu Xiaobo and wife Liu Xia

8 December 2014

PEN is calling for immediate and unconditional release of Liu Xiaobo and wife, Liu Xia.

8 December 2014 marks the sixth anniversary of the arrest of Chinese poet and human rights defender Liu Xiaobo, who is serving an 11-year prison sentence for his dissident writings and peaceful activism. Liu Xiaobo was imprisoned for “inciting subversion of state power” for his part as the leading author behind “Charter ‘08”, a manifesto calling for protection of universal human rights and democratic reform in China. Continue reading

China: Writers and Publishers arrested in a New Wave of Repression

He Zhengjun, director of the Transition Institute and prominent writer Xu Xiao were both detained on November 26, along with Xue Ye and Liu Jianshu, a sign of growing suppression against government critics in China. Continue reading