PEN Appeal: Du Daobin
July 24, 2008
His Excellency Hu Jintao
President of the People’s Republic of China
Mr. Meng Jianzhu
Minister of the Public Security
East Chang’an Avenue 14
On behalf of the 3,300 members of PEN American Center, an international organization of writers dedicated to protecting freedom of expression wherever it is threatened, we are writing to protest the rearrest of dissident writer and member of the Independent Chinese PEN Center Du Daobin.
According to our information, on July 21, 2008, Du Daobin was arrested by police from the Public Security Bureaus (PSB) of Xiaogan City and Yingcheng City while at the Healthcare Reform Office of Yingcheng City, Hubei Province, where he works as a professional clerk. As many as eight PSB officers also searched his home, confiscated two computers and some letters, but failed to present any court documents when they took him away. Mr. Du stands accused of violating the terms of his four-year probation by publishing more than 100 articles on the Internet, leaving the city, and receiving guests without permission from the police. For these “violations,” police have stated that Mr. Du will be sent back to prison even though he has almost finished serving his 2004 term. He is being held incommunicado at an undisclosed location.
Mr. Du, 43, is a writer from Yingcheng City, Hubei Province. On June 11, 2004, he was convicted of “inciting subversion of state power” and sentenced to three years’ imprisonment commuted to four years’ probation and two years’ deprivation of political rights. According to the court verdict, between July 2002 and October 2003, Mr. Du posted 26 articles on web sites such as Dajiyuan and New Century in China and abroad.
PEN American Center believes the arrest of Du Daobin is part of a targeted crackdown on dissent and an increase in the harassment and arrest of writers in advance of the 2008 Olympics, which we view as a violation of Article 19 of the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which China is a signatory. We therefore respectfully call on authorities to grant Mr. Du access to his family and legal representation and to release him immediately and unconditionally.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Director, Freedom to Write and International Programs
CC: H. E. Mr. Zhou Wenzhong
Ambassador of the PRC to the United States
2201 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W.
Washington D.C. 20007
Fax: (202) 588-9760
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