PEN Appeal: Rangjung
October 17, 2008
His Excellency Hu Jintao
President of the People’s Republic of China
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 express our serious concern regarding the detention of Tibetan writer Rangjung.
According to our information, Rangjung, aged 25, was arrested on September 11, 2008 at his home in Amdo Golok, eastern Tibet, in the Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (Ch: Ganzi), and has been held without charge ever since. His family has reportedly not been informed of the reason for his arrest, although it is feared that he may be detained for critical writings on his blog. Rangjung has published two books on Tibetan culture and history, Dhung shen kharpo (Pure Loyality) and Himalaya Reboed (Himalaya Call for Hope). Prior to his arrest he worked as a news presenter for Sertha Television station.
PEN American Center believes Rangjung’s detention is part of a targeted crackdown on dissent and an increase in the harassment and arrest of writers in Tibetan areas, 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 seek details of any charges against Rangjung and respectfully call for his immediate and unconditional release, as well as the release of all writers imprisoned in violation of their right to freedom of expression.
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 U.S.
2201 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W.
Washington D.C. 20007
Fax: (202) 588-9760
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