PEN Appeal: Hada, Xinna, and Uiles
June 6, 2011
His Excellency Hu Jintao
President of the People’s Republic of China
Her Excellency Ms. Wu Aiying
Minister of Justice
10 Chaoyangmen Nandajie
On behalf of the 3,500 members of PEN American Center, an international organization of writers dedicated to protecting freedom of expression wherever it is threatened, we are writing to express our concern regarding the continued detention of Mongolian editor and activist Hada, and the detention of his wife, Xinna, and son, Uiles.
According to our information, Hada, founder and publisher of The Voice of Southern Mongolia and a leading activist, completed a 15-year prison term for his dissident writings on December 10, 2010, but has apparently not been released. A family source confirmed on May 4, 2011, that Hada’s wife Xinna and his son Uiles have also been held since early December 2010, on charges of “illegal business activities” and “drug possession,” which appear to be trumped up and politically motivated. They were reportedly formally charged on January 17, 2011. Uiles was to have faced trial at the end of April, but the trial has been postponed without a new date being set. The family is being held at an undisclosed location.
We understand that Hada and his family have been told that they will not be released until they sign a statement promising to abandon their human rights activities. They have reportedly refused to do this, and Hada has gone on several hunger strikes in protest of the conditions in which they are being held. Hada suffers from stomach ulcers and coronary heart disease, and his health has reportedly deteriorated significantly as a result of abuse and ill-treatment during his many years of detention. Concerns for his welfare are mounting.
Hada, who has also published a book, The Way Out for the Southern Mongols, was arrested on December 10, 1995, for his activities as founder and publisher of the underground journal The Voice of Southern Mongolia and for his leading role in the Southern Mongolian Democracy Alliance (SMDA), an organization that peacefully promotes human rights and Mongolian culture. He was convicted in 1995 of inciting separatism and espionage and was sentenced to 15 years in prison and four years’ deprivation of political rights. His sentence expired on December 10, 2010, when he was reportedly transferred to another prison in Inner Mongolia.
PEN American Center is seriously concerned that Hada, Xinna, and Uiles are being held in violation of their right to freedom of expression as guaranteed by Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which China is a signatory. We therefore call for their immediate and unconditional release, as well as assurances that Hada is receiving all necessary medical care for his ailments.
Thank you for your attention to this crucial matter.
Chair, Freedom to Write Committee
Director, Freedom to Write and International Programs
CC: H.E. Zhang Yesui
Ambassador of the PRC to the U.S.
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the U.S.
3505 International Place, NW
Washington, DC 20007
Fax: (202) 495-2138
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