Wednesday, December 3, 2008

China: Internet writer and activist detained

China: Internet writer and activist detained
Published: December 2, 2008

English PEN is seriously concerned about the detention of Guo Quan, Internet writer and activist, who has reportedly been held on charges of 'inciting subversion' since 13 November 2008.

According to our information, Guo Quan was arrested at his home in Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu province, on 13 November 2008. His wife reports that he has been charged with 'inciting subversion of state power', a charge commonly used to suppress dissent. It is feared that he may be detained for the views expressed on his web blog, in which he allegedly called for democracy and criticized the Nanjing government for its decision to build a chemical plant in the city. Others suspect that the charges could be linked to his role in organizing a new political party, the China Xinmin Party, in December 2007.

At the time of his arrest, the police confiscated Guo Quan's articles and his computer. It is believed that Guo Quan is currently held at Nanjing City Public Security Bureau.

Guo Quan has been previously arrested by the Chinese authorities. For example, in May 2008 he spent ten days in prison for 'violating of public order'. He is a professor at Nanjing University, however, due to his political activities he has been banned from teaching.

Please send appeals:

- Expressing serious concern at the arrest of Internet writer and activist Guo Quan;- Calling for his immediate and unconditional release if held in violation of his right to freedom of expression, in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which China is a signatory.
Appeals to:
His Excellency Hu JintaoPresident of the People's Republic of ChinaState CouncilBeijing 100032P.R. China

CC. Secretary of the Tibet Autonomous Regional Party CommitteeZhang QingliZhonggong Xizang Zizhiqu WeiyuanhuiLhasashi, Xizang ZizhiquPeople's Republic of China

Please note that there are no fax numbers for the Chinese authorities. As such, we recommend that you copy your appeal to the Chinese embassy in the UK asking them to forward it and welcoming any comments:

Her Excellency Mrs. Fu YingEmbassy of the People's Republic of China49 - 51 Portland PlaceLondon W1B 1JL

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