PEN International condemns the 10-year prison sentence handed down to dissident writer Li Tie on January 18, 2012, for allegedly “subversive” writings. PEN calls for his immediate and unconditional release, and that of all those currently detained in the People’s Republic of China for peacefully expressing their views.

Background Information

According to PEN’s information, human rights activist and writer Li Tie, aged 52, was sentenced to 10 years in prison by the Wuhan Intermediate People’s Court on January 18, 2012, nine months after he was tried for “subversion” on April 18, 2011. The evidence against him included membership of the banned political group, the China Social Democracy Party, and a series of critical online essays and writings, in particular an article entitled “Human Beings’ Heaven Is Human Dignity.” His trial has not been conducted in accordance with due process or international standards of fairness, and Li has been prevented from appealing the verdict.
During the past decade, Li has written many online articles promoting democracy, constitutional government, and direct local elections. He has also organized activities to honor the memory of Lin Zhao, the well-known Beijing University student jailed in the 1950s and executed by the government in 1968 for her views and writings.

Write A Letter

  • Calling for the immediate and unconditional release of dissident writer Li Tie, imprisoned by the People’s Republic of China for the peaceful exercise of his right to free expression;
  • Expressing alarm at the crackdown on dissent, in which writers, journalists, and human rights defenders have been targeted;
  • Reminding the Chinese authorities of their obligations under Article 35 of the Chinese constitution and Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which China is a state party. 

Send Your Letter To

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

Please copy appeals to the diplomatic representative for China in your country if possible.

Please contact PEN if sending appeals after February 29, 2012: ftw [at]