Three international PEN centers have determined that the climate for freedom of expression in China has measurably deteriorated over the past year. Centers in the U.S., Canada and China released a “report card” one month before the opening of the Beijing Olympic Games, titled “Failing to Deliver: An Olympic-Year Report Card on Free Expression in China.” Among the report’s findings: there are more writers and journalists in Chinese prisons than there were seven months ago.

Last December, PEN American Center, PEN Canada and the Independent Chinese PEN Center were following the cases of 40 writers and journalists imprisoned in China, and in recent months PEN has petitioned the Chinese government to release those writers. Today—following numerous additional detentions and a few releases—PEN is following the cases of 51 writers, 44 of whom are still in prison. The report found that dissident writers and journalists not in prison face serious restrictions on their movements and on their ability to speak and publish freely. It also said the denial of freedom of expression in China extends to Internet censorship.

The report recommends that the Chinese government release all writers and journalists currently imprisoned and stop detaining, harassing, and censoring writers and journalists in China; end Internet censorship; and abide by its pledge that “there will be no restrictions on media reporting and movement of journalists up to and including the Olympic Games.”

Marian Botsford Fraser of PEN Canada said, “There’s still time for China to make good on the commitments it offered its own citizens and the international community when it bid to host the Olympics.