8 June 2013
Independent Chinese PEN Centre is seriously concerned about the arrests of its member Du Daobin and another two writers Du Bin and Zheng Youwu, as well as the opening of the trial of Liu Benqi on June 5 who was arrested in July last year on the charge of “inciting subversion of state power”.
According to ICPC sources, ICPC member Du Daobin was arrested in Beijing by the national security police officers from his hometown, Yingcheng City, Hubei province, and national security police officers in Beijing on June 3, the day before the anniversary of the June 4 massacre. On June 6, Beijing police called his family and said that Du Daobin was criminally detained on the suspicion of “creating disturbances” in Beijing No. 1 Detention Centre. On the same day, the police raided his home in Beijing and took away his computers and books.
Du Daobin, 49, was a public servant in Yingcheng City, Hubei province. He was arrested in October 2003 after he posted articles on the Internet. He was later imprisoned for three years, suspended for four years, on the charge of “inciting subversion of state power”. He later appealed against the sentence but to no avail. Before the Beijing Olympic in 2008, the authorities claimed that he “violated the requirements of the suspended sentence” and withdrew the suspended sentence and put him in prison for the original sentence of three-year imprisonment. He was released in December 2010. ICPC gave its “Writer-in-Prison Award” to Du Daobin in 2008. In April this year, Du Daobin moved to take up an administrative job in a law firm in Beijing but he was frequently harassed by the police.
ICPC also learned that former New York Times photojournalist and documentary director Du Bin was clandestinely detained by the Beijing police on May 31 and his whereabouts remain unknown. His private residence was blocked and his books and computers were confiscated. The reason of his detention is unknown. Many believe that it might be related to his production of the documentary “The Women of Masanjia Labour Camp” which was about the plight of the women in the labour camp and the publication of his book “Tiananmen Massacre” in Hong Kong. Internet writer Zheng Youwu and his wife were detained by Hainan police on May 31 and June 4 respectively at Wenchang Detention Centre in Hainan. On May 31, the police first detained Zheng’s wife who was operating a small shop with legal business license for “illegal business operation”. On June 4, six Hainan national security police officers grabbed Zheng Youwu, who was looking for a job in Hangzhou, back to Hainan and detained him. Zheng had previously taught at a private secondary school in Shenzhen but the national security police officers screwed up his job and kicked him out of Shenzhen. Dissident Liu Benqi in Golmud city, Qinghai province, was arrested in July last year on the charge of “inciting subversion of state power” after he criticized the government on the Internet and called on citizens to go to protest in Beijing during the 18th Chinese Communist Party Congress. His trial was opened at the Golmud Intermediate People’s Court on June 5. Liu’s ex-wife Liu Ying was put in one-year re-education through labour after she called for his release. On the other hand, before the June 4 anniversary, ICPC members Qin Yongming, Liu Feiyue, Sun Lin and Gao Hongming were forced to leave their home and travel. Gao Yu and Sun Wenguang, both ICPC honorary board members, Ye Du, ICPC’s Deputy Secretary General and Coordinator of Network Committee, Liu Di, Coordinator of Youth Committee, members He Depu, Cha Jianguo, Li Hai, Hu Shigen, Wang Jinbo, Lv Gengsong and Chen Shuqing were under police surveillance. ICPC believe that Du Daobin, Du Bin, Zheng Youwu and Liu Benqi exercised their legal right to free speech. ICPC strongly condemns the detention and crackdown on Du Daobin and others and call on the Chinese government
· to immediately unconditionally release Du Daobin, Du Bin, Zheng Youwu and his wife, and Liu Benqi and Liu Ying;
· to ensure the personal safety and humanitarian treatment of these people during their detention and their rights to contact their family members and access to legal representatives;
· to immediately and unconditionally release all who are imprisoned because of their words, including ICPC members Liu Xiaobo, Shi Tao, Yang Tianshui, Zhu Yufu, and Zhao Changqing.
PEN International is the oldest human rights organization and international literary organization. ICPC is among its 146 member centers and aims to protect writers’ freedom of expression and freedom to write worldwide. In particular ICPC also advocates for the rights of writers and journalists who are imprisoned, threatened, persecuted or harassed in China.
For more information, please contact
Patrick Poon, Executive Secretary
Tel: +852-94173765 Email: [email protected]