RAN 09/11 CHINA: UPDATE 1

March 4, 20011

CHINA: Writer Ye Du detained; fears for safety.

PEN International protests the administrative detention of Wu Wei (pen name Ye Du), who is the webmaster and Network Coordinator of the Independent Chinese PEN Center (ICPC). He is believed to be held under residential surveillance for "inciting subversion of state power," a charge commonly used to silence dissent in China. PEN International reminds the Chinese authorities of their obligations to Article 35 of the Chinese constitution and Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which it is a state party. It calls for the immediate release of all those detained for the peaceful expression of their views, including Wu Wei, and seeks urgent guarantees of his safety.

According to PEN's information, Wu Wei (aka Ye Du) was taken from his home in Haizhu, Guangdong Province, and arrested on 22 February 2011. His wife reports that police also raided their home, confiscating computers, books, and videos. On 1 March 2011 Wu Wei was reportedly placed under residential surveillance in Fanyu, Guangdong Province, for allegedly ‘inciting subversion of state power’. He could face up to six months of detention without trial, during which he is feared to be at risk of ill-treatment. Wu Wei has previously suffered harassment for his dissident writings and activism, and spoke engagingly about ‘Being Invited to Tea’ (a euphemism used to describe police warnings) at the PEN International congress in Tokyo in September 2010.

Since 16 February 2011 police have stepped up their harassment of human rights defenders and activists across the country, apparently in response to anonymous calls for ‘Jasmine Revolution’ protests (see previous alert for details). Over one hundred human rights defenders and activists have been arbitrarily detained, harassed or intimidated, including several ICPC members.


FURTHER INFORMATION

PEN International’s press release

Statement by Independent Chinese PEN Centre on the recent crackdown


TAKE ACTION

Sign the petition below to send the following appeals:

- Protesting the administrative detention of writer and ICPC member Wu Wei (aka Ye Du), who is among scores of writers, journalists and human rights defenders to be targeted in a recent crackdown on dissent;

- Reminding the Chinese authorities of their obligations under Article 35 of the Chinese constitution and Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which it is a state party

- Calling for the immediate and unconditional release of all those currently detained in the P.R.China for the peaceful exercise of their right to free expression, including Wu Wei.


 

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