International PEN is seriously concerned about the detention and well-being of dissident writer and journalist Chen Daojun, who was detained on May 9, 2008, near the city of Chengdu, Sichuan province. PEN seeks urgent information about his well-being following the devastating earthquake in the province on May 12, 2008, and sends condolences to the Chinese for the losses suffered as a result of this disaster. PEN is concerned that Chen Daojun was charged with subversion after publishing an article and campaigning on environmental issues. PEN calls for his immediate and unconditional release if he continues to be held in violation of Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which China is a signatory.

Background Information

Freelance journalist Chen Daojun was among a number of people detained on May 9, 2008, while protesting the construction of a chemical plant in the town of Pengzhou, 39 km outside the capital Chengdu. Chen Daojun has now been charged with "inciting splittism," not "inciting subversion of state power" as had been reported initially. The charge, most often used against Tibetans and Uighurs in China, most likely stems from an article Chen published following the Tibetan protests, which declared respect to the Tibetan people, defended their basic rights, and condemned the Chinese government's violent crackdown on protesters.

Write A Letter

  • Expressing serious concern about the charges against detained journalist Chen Daojun;
  • Pointing out that he appears to have been charged in violation of Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which China is a signatory, and if so, calling for his immediate and unconditional release.

Send Your Letter To

President of the People’s Republic of China
His Excellency Hu Jintao
State Council
Beijing 100032
P.R. China

Minister of the Public Security
Mr. Meng Jianzhu
East Chang'an Avenue 14
100741 Beijing
P.R. China

Please send a copy of your appeal to the Chinese embassy in your country, asking them to forward it and welcoming any comments. Please note that fax numbers are no longer available for the Chinese authorities, so you may wish to ask the diplomatic representative for China in your country to forward your appeals.

Please contact PEN if sending appeals after July 17, 2008: ftw [at]