Chinese Writer Re-Arrested as Crackdown Continues



    NEW YORK, TORONTO, STOCKHOLM, July 22 /CNW/ - Less than three weeks
before the Olympic Games open in Beijing, Chinese authorities have re-arrested
writer, former political prisoner, and PEN member Du Daobin and filed formal
charges against writer and human rights activist Huang Qi. PEN centers inside
and outside China denounced the moves, and called on the international
community to pressure the government to end its "blatant attacks against free
expression."
    Du Daobin, a writer and member of the Independent Chinese PEN Center, was
arrested today at the Healthcare Reform Office of Yingcheng City, Hubei
Province, where he works as a professional clerk. Later, as many as eight
police officers from the Public Security Bureaus of Xiaogan City and Yingcheng
City searched his home and confiscated computers and written materials,
including the letters some individuals had written to Du's family during his
detention more than four years ago. Du was convicted on June 11, 2004 of
"inciting subversion of state power" for 175 words in 26 of his articles, and
was handed a three-year sentence with an additional four years' probation and
two years' deprivation of political rights. He served seven and a half months
of his sentence before being released.
    Except for a list of confiscated items, the police have not presented any
official documents for Du's arrest, instead declaring that he has been
re-arrested to serve the remaining two years and four months of his sentence.
He is apparently accused of violating the terms of his sentence by publishing
more than 100 articles on the Internet, leaving the city, and receiving guests
without permission from the police. His whereabouts are currently unknown.
    Du's arrest follows the news that formal charges have been pressed
against human rights activist and writer Huang Qi. Huang, the director of the
Tianwang Human Rights Center, was detained on June 10, 2008. On July 18, when
his family arrived at the Chengdu Public Security Bureau's Wuhou Sub-division
looking for information about his situation, they discovered that he was being
formally arrested for "illegal possession of state secrets." Huang is being
held incommunicado at the Chengdu City Detention Center, where he is being
denied legal counsel on the grounds that his case involves "state secrets."
    On July 8, PEN American Center, PEN Canada, and the Independent Chinese
PEN Center issued a report, Failing to Deliver: An Olympic-Year Report Card on
Free Expression in China, which finds that the climate for freedom of
expression in China has measurably deteriorated over the past year, in full
view of the international community. According to the report, not only are
there more writers in prison than there were seven months ago, but there are
serious restrictions placed on writers' movements and on their ability to
speak and publish freely. Failing to Deliver recommends that the Chinese
government live up to its pledges to improve its human rights record by
releasing all writers imprisoned in China and lifting restrictions on freedom
of expression, and urges all nations participating in the Olympics to hold
China accountable to these pledges. A copy of the report can be found on the
home page of www.pencanada.ca.

    PEN American Center, PEN Canada, and the Independent Chinese PEN Center
are among the 145 worldwide centers of International PEN, an organization that
works to promote friendship and intellectual cooperation among writers
everywhere, to fight for freedom of expression, and represent the conscience
of world literature. On December 10, 2007, the centers launched We Are Ready
for Freedom of Expression, an Olympic countdown campaign to protest China's
imprisonment of at least 45 writers and journalists and to seek an end to
internet censorship and other restrictions on the freedom to write in that
country. For more information, please visit www.pen.org/china2008,
www.pencanada.ca, and www.chinesepen.org.





For further information:

For further information: Larry Siems, PEN American Center, (212)
334-1660 ext. 105, lsiems@pen.org; Marian Botsford Fraser, PEN Canada, (416)
938-4204, mbf@pencanada.ca; Yu Zhang, Independent Chinese PEN Center,
+46-8-50022792, wipc@penchinese.net


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