RAN 15/11: CHINA

RAN 15/11

CHINA: Dissident Writer Liu Xianbin sentenced.

PEN International protests the ten year sentence handed down to dissident writer and activist Liu Xianbin on March 25, 2011 for ‘inciting subversion of state power’ in a series of articles calling for political reform. The trial reportedly did not comply with international standards of fairness. PEN International reminds the Chinese authorities of their obligations to uphold the right to freedom of expression, freedom of information and freedom of assembly as guaranteed by 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 and unconditional release of all those detained for the peaceful expression of their views, including Liu Xianbin, and seeks urgent guarantees of the safety of those held without due process.

According to PEN’s information, forty-three year old Sichuan-based freelance writer and activist Liu Xianbin was arrested on 28 June 2010 and charged with ‘inciting subversion of state power’ on 11 November 2010. According to the verdict of the Suining Intermediate People’s Court, where he was tried on 25 March 2011, Liu’s conviction is based on a number of articles published in overseas Chinese-language websites from August 2009 to June 2010. He is currently detained at the Suining City Detention Centre, Sichuan Province.

Liu Xianbin previously served nine years of a thirteen-year prison sentence from 1999 to 2008 for his part in organizing the Sichuan branch of the outlawed China Democratic Party. After his release in November 2008 he was one of the first signatories of Charter 08. The harsh ten-year sentence comes as police are stepping up their harassment of human rights defenders and activists across the country, apparently in response to anonymous calls for ‘Jasmine Revolution’ protests. Since mid-February 2011 dozens have been briefly detained, harassed, summoned or place under house arrest, and at least five prominent rights activists and dissidents have been reportedly criminally detained for allegedly ‘endangering state security’ and face charges of ‘inciting subversion’ or ‘subversion of state power’. They include writer Ran Yunfei, prominent ‘weiquan’ or ‘rights protection’ lawyer Teng Biao, and Wu Wei (aka Ye Du), all members of the Independent Chinese PEN Center.

Further Information

Statement by Independent Chinese PEN Center on the recent crackdown

http://www.pen.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/5642/prmID/172

Writings by Ran Yunfei
http://chinadigitaltimes.net/china/ran-yunfei/

BBC News report
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12859050

TAKE ACTION
Sign the petition below to send the following appeals:

  • Protesting the harsh sentence handed down to dissident writer Liu Xianbin solely for the peaceful exercise of his right to free expression;
  • Expressing alarm at the recent crackdown on dissent in which writers, journalists and human rights defenders are amongst those to have targeted;
  • 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 Liu Xianbin.

Appeals will be sent to:

His Excellency Hu Jintao
President of the People’s Republic of China
State Council
Beijing 100032
P.R. China

Director of the Beijing Public Security Bureau
MA Zhenchuan Juzhang
Beijingshi Gong'anju

9 Dongdajie, Qianmen
Dongchengqu
Beijingshi 100740
People's Republic of China

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