(NEW YORK)—PEN America has joined the Independent Chinese PEN Center (ICPC) and PEN International in calling on the director of Zhejiang Province’s prison system to investigate reports of cruel and inhumane treatment of imprisoned writer and ICPC member, Lü Gengsong (吕耿松). Mr. Lü, 67, has been serving an 11-year prison sentence on trumped-up charges of “subversion of state power” at Huzhou Changhu Prison since 2016.

Angeli Datt, PEN America’s China research and advocacy lead, said: “The reports of the treatment of Mr Lü Gengsong in prison are troubling and we call for an immediate investigation. Such treatment is a violation of China’s domestic law and the country’s international human rights obligations. Mr Lü is serving a long prison sentence after being convicted of “subversion” for publishing pro-democracy essays overseas and promoting the banned China Democracy Party. Writing is not a crime and Mr. Lü shouldn’t be in prison at all. Authorities must investigate his treatment in prison and take steps to vacate his prison sentence and release him from custody.”

Read the letter in English