PEN America Concerned Over Detained Chinese Poet’s Safety
Organization says lack of information on his case provides opportunity for abuse, human rights violations
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(New York, NY) – PEN America is concerned that the continuing lack of publicly available information around the detention of Chinese poet Cui Haoxin, arrested in late January, may enable Chinese authorities to abuse Cui while he is in detention.
Cui Hoaxin, also known by his pen name An Ran, was arrested January 24 under the charge of “picking quarrels and stirring up trouble.” PEN America has previously analyzed how the charge of “picking quarrels” has been frequently used by Chinese authorities as a tool to silence critics. Cui, a Hui Muslim, has been vocal in his support of minority rights in China, particularly in regards to ongoing rights abuses in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Since his arrest, there has been no public information about his whereabouts or the circumstances of his detention.
“More than a month has passed since Cui Haoxin’s arrest, and the Chinese government has still not released any essential information about his detention,” said James Tager, deputy director of Free Expression Research and Policy at PEN America. “With little to no publicly available information about Cui, we’re concerned authorities may violate his rights under a veil of secrecy. We call on the Chinese government to publicly share the circumstances of Cui’s detention. And we reiterate our conclusion that Cui’s arrest was motivated by retaliation against Cui’s commentary on the government’s treatment of Muslim minorities. The charges against him should be dropped immediately.”
In early February, PEN America released a statement on Cui Haoxin’s arrest, saying “Chinese authorities have repeatedly arrested and harassed An Ran in the last two years.” PEN America has previously concluded that police action against Cui represented “a clear cut example of the Chinese government seeking to silence a critical voice through intimidation.”
PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.
CONTACT: Stephen Fee, Director of Communications, [email protected], +1 202 309 8892