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    Reporters Without Borders said in it’s 2005 special report titled “Xinhua: the world’s biggest propaganda agency”, that “Xinhua remains the voice of the sole party”, “particularly during the SARS epidemic, Xinhua has for last few months been putting out news reports embarrassing to the government, but they are designed to fool the international community, since they are not published in Chinese.”
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Archive for the ‘writer’ Category

Banned Book ‘Tombstone’ Chinese Author Yang Jisheng Receives Literary Prize in New York

Posted by Author on June 1, 2013

A former senior editor for the Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda mouthpiece collected the Manhattan Institute’s Hayek Prize Wednesday night.

The book award is given by the libertarian-leaning think tank to acknowledge recent works that “best reflect Hayek’s vision of economic and individual liberty.” It comes with a $50,000 cash prize. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in books, China, intellectual, People, Politics, Social, World, writer | Comments Off on Banned Book ‘Tombstone’ Chinese Author Yang Jisheng Receives Literary Prize in New York

Writer Lü Gengsong Released from Prison, refuses Conditions of Deprivation of Political Rights

Posted by Author on August 25, 2011

(HRIC) – Writer Lü Gengsong (吕耿松) was released from the Xijiao Prison in Hangzhou on August 23, 2011, after serving a four-year sentence following a conviction for “inciting subversion of state power.” Lü is also subject to one year of deprivation of political rights following his release, which includes prohibitions on publishing and accepting interviews.

According to an informed source, after his release, when officials in Lü’s Neighborhood Committee asked him to sign a guarantee that he would abide by the conditions of deprivation of political rights, Lü refused to sign. In addition, he tore up his copy of a document specifying the terms of his “community correction” (社区矫正), correctional measures that should not have been applied to him. The source also said that the Xijiao Prison administration has not returned to Lü the six diaries he kept in prison and the manuscript of a book he wrote.

Lü is the author of the History of Corruption in the Communist Party of China (中共贪官污吏), published in 2000, and many articles on topics including corruption, organized crime, and freedom of religion. Lü was detained on August 24, 2007, on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power” and “leaking state secrets” and convicted on the first count on February 5, 2008. In ruling against Lü, the court cited 19 articles which he posted on overseas websites and a total of 470 words from those articles as evidence of his crime. In total, Lu wrote more than 226 articles and more than one million words. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Journalist, News, World, writer | 1 Comment »

13 American scholars barred from traveling to China for their book on Xinjiang

Posted by Author on August 20, 2011

(washingtonpost)- Thirteen American scholars say they have been barred from traveling to China because of a book they wrote, an incident that raises awkward questions about academic freedom at a time of unprecedented collaboration between U.S. and Chinese universities.

The academics have taken to calling themselves the Xin­jiang 13 to emphasize their shared misfortune. Seven years ago, they assembled a book about Xinjiang, a vast region of western China that has a large Muslim population and an occasionally violent separatist movement.

They say their book triggered a backlash from the Chinese government because of its sensitive topic. Contributors have repeatedly been refused visas, thwarted from returning to the region that is the focus of their careers. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in censorship, China, Human Rights, News, NW China, People, Politics, USA, World, writer, Xinjiang | Comments Off on 13 American scholars barred from traveling to China for their book on Xinjiang

RSF: Communist Party celebrates longevity, but Chinese activist says it has gone deaf

Posted by Author on July 1, 2011

As China’s Communist Party celebrates the 90th anniversary of its founding today, beginning with a flag-raising ceremony in Tiananmen Square attended by 30,000 people, Reporters Without Borders insists that the toll from the crackdown of the past 90 days outweighs all the achievements of the past 90 years that the party has been proclaiming.

“The party’s efforts to present a festive image of national cohesion are designed to hide a disturbing deterioration in freedom of expression and information, especially during the last five months,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The ceremonies and political speeches must not be allowed to eclipse the wave of arrests of dissidents and human rights lawyers, and the censorship in Inner Mongolia.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Activist, Blogger, China, Event, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Jasmine Revolution, Journalist, Law, News, People, Politics, Social, World, writer | Comments Off on RSF: Communist Party celebrates longevity, but Chinese activist says it has gone deaf

Three Chinese journalists held in China’s crackdown on activists

Posted by Author on May 8, 2011

Three Chinese journalists have been detained or harassed by police in recent days amid a nationwide crackdown on activists and political dissent.

Guangdong-based journalist Wang Sijing was forcibly detained by Wuhan police after she traveled there to cover a story about psychiatric hospital inmates, she told Twitter users.

Wang, who writes for the 21st Century Economic Report, was released after her mobile phone was confiscated, but declined to comment on Friday. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, Freedom of Speech, Guangdong, Human Rights, Journalist, News, People, Politics, SE China, World, writer | Comments Off on Three Chinese journalists held in China’s crackdown on activists

China Charges Well-Known Internet Writer Ran Yunfei with Subversion

Posted by Author on March 28, 2011

(VOA News) China has charged well-known pro-democracy writer and editor Ran Yunfei with subversion for his alleged role in calling for popular uprisings in China similar to those gripping the Middle East and North Africa.

Ran’s wife told VOA’s Mandarin service she received a copy of the formal charging documents Monday, and says they were dated last Friday. She said she will move quickly to hire a lawyer to defend her spouse, and expects formal court proceedings within two months. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Activist, China, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Politics, Sichuan, Speech, SW China, World, writer | Comments Off on China Charges Well-Known Internet Writer Ran Yunfei with Subversion

Renowned Dissident Writer Li Hong Dies, Chinese Authorities Prevent Funeral

Posted by Author on January 5, 2011

Founding editor of the popular Zhejiang News and former chief-editor of the Chinese literary and news website Aegean Sea (Aiqinhai), Li Hong, died on Dec. 31. He was in his hospital bed, surrounded by domestic security police.

Chinese authorities sealed off news of his death and stopped dissidents and human rights activists from attending the funeral.

Li Hong, renowned for his poetry, plays, and freelance writing, was born Zhang Jianhong. He died at age 52 in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, according to Chinese Human Rights Defenders, an NGO. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Journalist, Li Hong, News, People, Politics, Social, World, writer | Comments Off on Renowned Dissident Writer Li Hong Dies, Chinese Authorities Prevent Funeral

Police release Chinese author after online storm

Posted by Author on October 1, 2010

(Reuters) – Police in southern China have released on bail the author of a popular Internet novel they deemed pornographic, state media said, following an on-line uproar about official abuse of power.

Chinese language teacher Yuan Lei, 29, published “In Dongguan” on the popular portal between August 2009 and February of this year, Xinhua news agency said late Thursday. The novel was about prostitution in bathhouses in Dongguan.

The booming manufacturing hub in Guangdong province, close to Hong Kong, has long had a reputation for its racy nightlife and anything-goes attitude. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, Culture, Guangdong, News, People, Politics, SE China, Social, World, writer | Comments Off on Police release Chinese author after online storm

Author Released After 29 Days Detention for His Book About Dam Migration

Posted by Author on September 20, 2010

Reporters Without Borders, Sep. 20, 2010 –

Reporters Without Borders hails investigative journalist Xie Chaoping’s release on bail in Weinan (in Shaanxi province) on 17 September for lack of evidence. After being held for 29 days for writing a book about the Sanmenxia Dam entitled “The Great Migration,” he has been able to return to Beijing.

“Xie’s release is excellent news but now he must he now be quickly cleared of the charges of illegal commercial activity that the Weinan authorities brought against him,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We call for the release of the printer who was also accused of illegal commercial activity for printing his book. It is still not known what has happened to him.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Central China, China, dam, Environment, Law, Life, News, People, Politics, Shanxi, Social, World, writer | Comments Off on Author Released After 29 Days Detention for His Book About Dam Migration

China Court Upholds Five-Year Sentence for Earthquake Activist Tan Zuoren

Posted by Author on June 10, 2010

Human Rights in China, June 9, 2010 –

The Sichuan Provincial Higher People’s Court has upheld the five-year sentence, with three years of deprivation of political rights, of Tan Zuoren (谭作人), the Sichuan environmental activist and writer convicted of “inciting subversion of state power.” The decision was announced on June 9, 2010, in a 12-minute-long hearing held in the Chengdu Municipal Intermediate People’s Court, the court that originally tried Tan on August 12, 2009.  In the appeal statement he filed after the original guilty verdict, Tan declared: “I am not guilty; I don’t accept [the verdict]; I protest; I appeal.”

Tan’s lawyer, Pu Zhiqiang (浦志强), told Human Rights in China (HRIC) that he did not expect a different outcome. “This was not a trial in accordance with law, but a trial to protect the interests of the local government,” said Pu.

Tan was first detained in March 28, 2009, three days after the online release of a report titled  Independent Investigation Report by Citizens, which presented findings of an investigation he conducted with a colleague, Xie Yihui (谢贻卉), into the causes of the widespread collapse of school buildings during the May 2008 earthquake in Sichuan. The subsequent indictment, which charged Tan with “inciting subversion of state power,” did not, however, mention his earthquake investigation.  Rather, the indictment cited as evidence his 2007 essay on the 1989 Democracy Movement, “Bearing Witness to the Ultimate Beauty—Diary of an Eyewitness from the Square” (见证最后的美丽——一个目击者的广场日记), and his proposal for a blood drive to commemorate the 20th anniversary of June Fourth.

Before the August 2009 trial, prominent artist Ai Weiwei (艾未未), who had traveled to Chengdu and prepared to be a witness for Tan, was beaten by Chengdu police and detained in his hotel room for 11 hours. The court did not allow any defense witnesses to attend the trial.  During the trial, the judge repeatedly interrupted Pu, and Tan was not allowed to make his final statement.

The Chengdu court announced its guilty verdict on February 9, 2010, nearly half a year after the trial, in violation of the Criminal Procedure Law which allows a maximum period of two-and-a- half months for a trial court to issue a ruling after accepting the case (Article 168). Tan appealed one day after the verdict was issued. The appeal decision, handed down today, four months afterwards, is also in violation of the Criminal Procedure Law which stipulates in Article 196 that an appeal trial should be concluded within one-and-a-half months after the filing of the appeal.

Human Rights in China

Posted in Chengdu, China, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Politics, Sichuan, Social, SW China, World, writer | Comments Off on China Court Upholds Five-Year Sentence for Earthquake Activist Tan Zuoren

Two Tibetan writers being arrested, attacked at Southwest China

Posted by Author on June 10, 2010

Reporters Without Borders, June 10, 2010 –

Reporters Without Borders condemns two new serious cases of detention and use of violence against Tibetan journalists and writers in the past few days.

Two magazine editors were arrested by police in Chengdu on 5 June and were mistreated all night before being released, while a writer and monk was arrested without a warrant for the second time in 13 months on 24 May in Ngaba, in eastern Tibet, and has been held ever since without being able to see his family.

“The Chinese authorities are offering an idealised vision of a peaceful Tibet in the 2010 Shanghai World Expo but the information coming from the Tibetan areas is very different,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Arrests, violence and surveillance are the common lot of those who defend Tibetan identity. We urge Prime Minister Wen Jiabao to give clear orders for the release of all imprisoned Tibetan intellectuals.”

Goyon and Thupten Gedun, the editors of the magazines Tibet and Purgyal Kyi Namshey (Soul of Ancient Kings), were circulating on foot in Chengdu on the evening of 5 June when around 15 policemen descended from two vehicles, used tear-gas on them, and then took them to a police station. After confiscating their mobile phones, cameras, ID cards and wallets, they tied them to chairs and interrogated them.

“The police officers used violence to interrogate us,” the journalists said. “They asked us about our work and our political activities, all the while hitting us. They also threatened us by putting guns against our heads. When we asked what we had done wrong, they hit us even harder.” One of them was tortured with electrical equipment to make him confess.

“The next day, the police checked our police records and discovered they were empty. So they let us go, but not without threatening to arrest us again.”

In Ngaba, writer Dokru Tsultrim was arrested on 24 May in Gomang monastery, where he has been staying for the past five years. A relative living in exile in the Indian city of Dharamsala said he was arrested because of two articles by him that have been published.

“Dokru Tsultrim refused to give his laptop to the police but they confiscated documents they found in his room,” the relative said. “Until now our family has been denied the right to see him.” Tsultrim is very involved in promoting literature among young Tibetans but is not a member of in any political movement, the source added……. (more details from Reporters Without Borders)

Posted in Chengdu, China, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Politics, Sichuan, Social, SW China, Tibetan, World, writer | Comments Off on Two Tibetan writers being arrested, attacked at Southwest China

Free journalists and netizens held by China for referring to 1989 Tiananmen massacre

Posted by Author on June 4, 2010

Reporters Without Borders, Jun 3, 2010 –

On the eve of the 21st anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre
, Reporters Without Borders calls for the immediate release of the journalists and netizens who have been jailed for referring to this dark page in China’s history. It also calls for an end to the censorship of both traditional and online media that want to tackle this subject and challenge the official version.

Shi Tao of the daily Dangdai Shang Bao (Contemporary Business News) is one of the journalists who are being held. He was convicted of “illegally divulging state secrets abroad” on 30 April 2005 and was sentenced 10 years in prison. The details of the verdict showed that Yahoo!’s Hong Kong subsidiary provided the Chinese police with information that helped get him convicted.

According to the authorities, Shi’s crime was to have forwarded a government directive about the 15th Tiananmen Square anniversary to a friend based abroad. The note, which was sent to the newspaper, warned journalists of the dangers of social destabilisation and the risks that could result from the return of certain dissidents.

Chinese state security officials insisted during the trial that the directive was “Jue Mi” (top secret). Shi admitted to passing it on to someone else by email but disputed that it was a secret document. The conditions in which he is being held are very harsh.

Sun Fuquan, a journalist from Shenyang (in the province of Liaoning), is serving a sentence of 21 months of forced labour for posting information about the events of 1989 online. He was convicted of “inciting subversion of state authority” and “dividing the country.”

Zhang Huaiyang, a cyber-dissident from the same city, was sentenced to 18 months of forced labour last year for asking on the Internet whether activists intended to gather in Tiananmen Square to mark the anniversary of the massacre. The authorities said he was guilty of “inciting unrest and endangering national security.”

In a report released in June 2009, on the 20th anniversary of the bloody crackdown on the pro-democracy movement, Reporters Without Borders detailed the methods used by the authorities to maintain a veil of silence over the massacre. The policy has not changed. It is still impossible for the Chinese press and Internet users to refer freely to this subject. Between 400 and 500 keywords linked to the events of 4 June 1989 are censored online.

A cartoon apparently alluding to 4 June 1989 was published two days ago in the newspaper Nanfang Dushi Bao (Southern Metropolitan Daily) and was posted on its website. But it was soon withdrawn from the site, along with the comments it had prompted. It showed a child drawing tanks and a figure resembling a soldier on a blackboard. The censoring of the cartoon shows that the authorities tolerate absolutely no reference to 4 June 1989, no matter how indirect.

Reporters Without Borders is outraged by the government’s treatment of Liu Xiaobo, a prominent dissident and intellectual who took part in the 1989 demonstrations. Sentenced to 11 years in prison last December for helping to draft Charter 08, an appeal for more freedom in China (,35507.html), Liu was transferred on 24 May from Beijing detention centre No. 1 to Jinzhou prison in the northeastern province of Liaoning, more than 800 km from the capital, where his family lives.

Liu’s wife, Liu Xia, was not told of the transfer until 30 May. She finally obtained permission to visit him but the journey will take her 12 hours each way.

Reporters Without Borders

Posted in Beijing, China, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Journalist, Law, News, People, Politics, Social, World, writer | 1 Comment »

Are You Being Followed by “the Man” ? (3)- What Kind of Job is “Security Information Personnel” at China School?

Posted by Author on March 19, 2010

He Qinglian, Chinese author and economist, via, Mar. 17, 2010- (cont’d)

<< previous

3. What Kind of Job is “Security Information Personnel” at School?

Here is a rough description of the system.

a. The school selects some “politically reliable” students who, once they hear some “politically incorrect” comments from teachers or students, will report them to the related office in school administration.  For example, the “Security Information Team” established by Economy and Trade College in Qingdao Technological University has “two students in each class, one male one female. “ They must be student Party members or student cadre. Their prime responsibility is to report the “insecure elements” in their classes and dormitories, including the behavior of some “special students” and the content of some teachers’ lectures.

b. The Information Personnel job is a paid position. The amount they are paid varies in different schools. It could be very low. For example, at Jilin University each informer, if he or she makes twenty reports, he or she can get a 120 Chinese yen reimbursement for his or her books. So each report is worth six yen, which is less than one US dollar. Students from poor families still want to take the job. For instance, Dezhou Institute in Shandong Province has offered their students extracurricular job opportunities to have them work as “Security Information Personnel.”

c. A Security Personnel who does a good job can secure favorable consideration from the school in terms of grading and political advancement. One striking characteristic of such rules of terror is that the Security Personnel are allowed to report incidents based merely on rumor. They are not asked to authenticate the information. This, along with the number of reports affecting the rate of pay, makes many of the personnel create “information” out of nowhere in exchange for the reward, risking the well-being of their teachers and classmates.

In some schools, the “Security Personnel” team is incredibly large. Take for example, the Xi’an Technology University, which received the title of “Peaceful University of Shanxi Province”, jointly given by the Comprehensive Administration Office of Shanxi Province, the Department of Education, and the Department of Public Security. There are 2,627 Security Personnel among the students. In addition, among the staff and faculty members, 65 have been ascribed to be Special Information Personnel. The total number of undergraduates, graduates and three-year college students is 23,404; the number of staff and faculty is 2,326. Consequently, there is one Security Personnel in every ten students or fewer. For every 35 staff and faculty, there is one informer.

Perhaps in no other country in the entire the world can you find universities or colleges like China’s, which turns college, a place for imparting knowledge and nurturing intellectuals, into sites of spies, eroding the soul of the youngsters by encouraging the shameless behavior of “reporting”. (to be cont’d)

– From Secret China , Original Chinese article from Author’s website

Are You Being Followed by “the Man” ? (1) – Informer Is Everywhere in China
Are You Being Followed by “the Man” ? (2)- Schools Have Become Sites of the Spies

Posted in China, Commentary, He Qinglian, intellectual, News, Opinion, Overseas Chinese, People, Politics, Social, spy, Student, World, writer | Comments Off on Are You Being Followed by “the Man” ? (3)- What Kind of Job is “Security Information Personnel” at China School?

Chinese author barred from going to Germany festival, hauled from plane

Posted by Author on March 1, 2010

DPA, Via The Earthtimes, Mar. 01, 2010-

Beijing – China police on Monday removed banned writer and government critic Liao Yiwu from a plane and took him into custody, preventing him from travelling to Germany for a literary festival, a friend said. Officers hauled Liao, who had a German visa, from the plane in the south-western city of Chengdu shortly before it was to take off for Beijing, from where he was to catch a flight to Germany, the friend, whose identity is not being released to protect her, said in a telephone interview.

“His passport and visa were in order,” said the friend, whom Liao phoned as he was being taken to an airport security office. Since then, she has been unable to contact him, she said.

“I contacted the police at the airport but was unable to find out anything,” she said, adding that shortly before his departure, Liao had met with a high-ranking German diplomat.

Liao, 50, who had also been barred from leaving China to attend the Frankfurt Book Fair this past autumn, had planned to take part in Festival lit.Cologne on March 19.

Liao’s book The Corpse Walker: Real Life Stories: China From the Bottom Up was published in the West last year after being banned in China. He wrote it from interviews with toilet cleaners, prostitutes, older monks, political prisoners and street artists.

The writer was imprisoned for four years beginning in 1990 after he published the poem Massacre in 1989 about the bloody crackdown that year on pro-democracy demonstrations, which were centred in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

Since then, Liao has been on a black list and not allowed to publish in China.

The EarthTimes

Posted in Chengdu, China, Human Rights, News, People, Politics, Sichuan, SW China, World, writer | Comments Off on Chinese author barred from going to Germany festival, hauled from plane

China Affirms 11-Year Sentence for Liu Xiaobo Against International Appeal for His Release

Posted by Author on February 11, 2010

Human Rights in China (HRIC), February 11, 2010 –

February 11, 2010, the Beijing Municipal High People’s Court reviewed Liu Xiaobo’s (刘晓波) appeal and upheld his “inciting subversion of state power” conviction and 11-year sentence by a lower court. Liu’s wife, Liu Xia (刘霞), told Human Rights in China (HRIC) that in court, after the decision was read, Liu said these three words: I’m not guilty.

“This decision once again illustrates that Chinese courts are a political tool for control and cannot and will not protect the rights of citizens,” said Sharon Hom, executive director of Human Rights in China.

Liu, one of China’s most respected public intellectuals, is co-author of Charter 08, an online petition that calls for political reform. Liu was detained on December 9, 2008, one day after the petition began circulating. He was tried on December 23, 2009 in the Beijing Municipal No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court, and was convicted and sentenced on Christmas Day.

To human rights advocates inside China and the international community, the case of Liu Xiaobo is a clear signal of increasing official intolerance of free speech. Teng Biao (滕彪), rights defense lawyer and a Charter 08 signer, condemns the ruling. In a statement to HRIC, Teng said: “The government has completely replaced rule by law with political considerations. The harsh sentence for Liu Xiaobo also illustrates that while this regime appears strong on the surface, it actually lacks self-confidence.” Teng added, “Not only is he innocent, he’s an excellent example of someone who practices the spirit of citizenship and promotes freedom and democracy.”

The ruling prompted immediate international protest, including statements by the European Union and the United States, both calling for Liu’s immediate release. Since Liu’s conviction and sentencing in December 2009, prominent international figures, including Vaclav Havel, the Dalai Lama, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, have publicly supported Liu and criticized the Chinese government, and have recommended him for a Nobel Peace Prize……. (more details from Human Rights in China (HRIC))

Posted in China, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Politics, World, writer | Comments Off on China Affirms 11-Year Sentence for Liu Xiaobo Against International Appeal for His Release

RSF condemns China’s long jail sentences of two earthquake rights activists

Posted by Author on February 10, 2010

Reporters Without Borders, Feb. 9, 2010-

Reporters Without Borders condemns the long jail sentences that judges in Chengdu (in the southwestern province of Sichuan) have imposed on two human rights activists and netizens in the past 48 hours. A three-year sentence was upheld for Huang Qi  yesterday while Tan Zuoren was given a five-year sentence at a hearing today during which police arrested and manhandled nine Hong Kong journalists.

“Bloggers and human rights defenders who dared to contradict official reports about the victims of the May 2008 earthquake in Sichuan are being treated like criminals,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We deplore the severe jail sentences that have been passed without due process and we appeal to the supreme court and justice ministry to review these two cases and to investigate the use of violence against the Hong Kong journalists who wanted to cover Tan’s hearing.”

The press freedom organisation added: “After convicting human rights activist Liu Xiaobo on Christmas Day, the authorities are now using the Chinese New Year period to announce very harsh sentences for dissidents who are well known in China and abroad.”

Tan, who was tried last August, seemed to be in good shape when he appeared in court today to hear the court’s verdict and sentence. According to one of his lawyers, he thanked those who have supported him, reaffirmed his innocence and described the proceedings as “illegal.” The court imposed the five-year sentence after finding him guilty of subverting state authority. His lawyers said they would appeal.

Tan’s wife was not allowed into the courtroom for today’s hearing, while nine journalists who had come from Hong Kong to cover the hearing were briefly detained and roughed up, and their press cards were taken. Two of the journalists were injured. The press cards were returned after the hearing.

Tan, who had urged fellow netizens to come to Sichuan to cover the plight of the families of the earthquake victims, was arrested in March 2009. Several journalists and activists were manhandled when they tried to attend his trial in August.

Yesterday’s decision by a Chengdu intermediate court to reject human rights activist Huang Qi’s appeal against his three-year sentence was taken without any hearing being held, thereby denying his defence lawyers a chance to present arguments. Huang was notified by letter that his sentence had been upheld.

His lawyers, including Mo Shaoping, have repeatedly complained of irregularities in the proceedings and submitted to a petition to the court last month listing their complaints, including the fact that they were being denied access to case documents……. (more from  Reporters Without Borders)

Posted in Activist, Chengdu, China, earthquake, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Politics, Sichuan, SW China, World, writer | Comments Off on RSF condemns China’s long jail sentences of two earthquake rights activists

China Earthquake Activist Huang Qi Sentenced for 3 Years

Posted by Author on February 8, 2010

(Chinese Human Rights Defenders, February 8, 2010) – CHRD learned today that Chengdu City Intermediate Court rejected the appeal of human rights activist and director of Tianwang Human Rights Center (, Huang Qi (黄琦). Huang was convicted of “illegal possession of state secrets” and sentenced to three years in prison on November 23, 2009.

According to one source at the Chengdu City Detention Center, where Huang was held, a judge from the Chengdu City Intermediate Court announced the decision to Huang at the Detention Center this morning. Huang was not given an oral appeal hearing before the decision was made. Huang’s wife and his lawyer have not yet been formally notified of the decision.

“The Chengdu Court has denied us access to the relevant files and information. Obviously, they want to make it difficult for us to defend [Huang effectively],” one of Huang’s lawyers told CHRD earlier. The lawyer also said they were not optimistic about a public appeal hearing.

Reportedly, Huang has just been transferred from the Detention Center to a midway house for the newly convicted before they are sent to prisons.

Huang is from Chengdu City in Sichuan Province. In 1998, Huang established the first website in China that disseminated news about people who had been trafficked and disappeared. The website evolved to report on issues of injustice and complaints against the government ( In May 2003, Huang was convicted of “inciting subversion of state power” and sentenced to five years in prison and one year of political rights deprivation. After his early release on June 4, 2005, he continued his human rights work.

However, Huang disappeared on June 10, 2008. It was later discovered that he had been detained by the police. A few days before his detention, Huang met with some of the families who wanted to file lawsuits against officials allegedly responsible for the shoddy school buildings that killed the children in the Sichuan earthquake.

During Huang’s detention, he was barred from accessing his lawyers for over three months after he was first taken into custody. Huang’s family has not been allowed to visit the activist despite repeated requests.

CHRD reiterates its call for Huang’s immediate and unconditional release. CHRD believes that Huang is jailed for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression and to defending human rights.

Chinese Human Rights Defenders

Posted in Activist, Chengdu, China, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Politics, Sichuan, Social, SW China, World, writer | Comments Off on China Earthquake Activist Huang Qi Sentenced for 3 Years

Every breath I take must be illegal: Released Chinese writer

Posted by Author on January 28, 2010

By Madeline Earp/Asia Research Associate, CPJ, Jan 28, 2010 –

Siweiluozi’s Blog, an anonymous blog that covers various Chinese legal issues and current affairs, has translated a series of updates by Chinese writer Yang Zili, who was arrested in 2001 and later convicted of subversion against the state for online articles. Released last year after serving eight years, Yang joined Twitter and has been describing his incarceration in a series of short posts.

Here’s an extract that displays Yang’s spirit during his ordeal:

My interrogator asked me, “Why did you write this article?” “That’s the way I thought,” I answered. “Don’t I have freedom of thought and freedom of speech?” He answered: “As long as it’s in your mind, you have freedom of thought. As soon as you speak, it becomes action!” Looking at it this way, since the constitution says nothing about “freedom to breathe,” every breath I take must be illegal.

(Read the Chinese here.)

Twitter is frequently blocked within China but remains popular among Chinese Web users familiar with circumvention software to overcome the blocks, according to CPJ research.

CPJ records at least 24 journalists still imprisoned in China.

– Original from CPJ

Posted in China, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Politics, Social, World, writer | Comments Off on Every breath I take must be illegal: Released Chinese writer

Leading US authors demonstrate against jailing of Chinese writer

Posted by Author on January 4, 2010

Alison Flood,, Monday 4 January 2010 –

Acclaimed US authors including EL Doctorow, Don DeLillo and Edward Albee gathered on the steps of the New York Public Library on New Year’s Eve to protest against the imprisonment of Chinese writer and human rights activist Liu Xiaobo.

The authors called on China to release Liu, who was given an 11-year prison sentence on Christmas Day for “inciting subversion of state power” with his writing. “We want to express and explain our outrage, to commit ourselves to working for Liu’s release, and to urge all those in this country and around the world who care about free expression to join us,” said Kwame Anthony Appiah, author and president of PEN’s US branch.

The assembled writers stood in the snow to read aloud from the passages of Liu’s writing that were cited by the court in Beijing when condemning him to prison, as well as from poems he wrote to his wife during a previous three-year term of “re-education through labour” during the 1990s, calling his sentencing “shameful”.

Liu is the co-author of the Charter 08 campaign for political and human rights reform, in which he writes that “we should end the practice of viewing words as crimes”. A member of the Independent Chinese PEN Centre, he was arrested last December before the Charter was made public, and has been detained for the last year……. (more details from The Guardian)

Posted in Activist, China, Dissident, Human Rights, News, People, Speech, USA, World, writer | 2 Comments »

China’s pre-emptive response to Obama’s free flow of information comments?

Posted by Author on November 16, 2009

Reporters Without Borders, 16 November 2009 –

As US President Barack Obama used the Shanghai leg of his China visit to call for an end to online censorship, it emerged that a Chinese court has sentenced Tibetan writer and photographer Kunga Tseyang to five years in prison on various charges including posting articles on the Internet. Two days before, literary website editor Kunchok Tsephel has meanwhile been sentenced to 15 years in prison on a charge of “divulging state secrets”.

“Was this the Chinese government’s pre-emptive response to the US president’s very clear defence of the free flow of information,” Reporters Without Borders asked. “Either way, we hope the central government will overturn such heavy prison sentences, which two Tibetan writers have been given just for expressing their views. We deplore the increased repression since the major protests in Tibet in March 2008.”

Reporters Without Borders has learned that Tseyang, who is also know by the pen-name Gangnyi (Snow Sun), was given the five-year sentence by a court in the western province of Gansu on 14 November 2009 after being found guilty of writing “separatist” articles, posting them online and having contact with a Buddhist monk based in India. The authorities objected in particular to his posting articles on the website Zindris……. (more details from Reporters Without Borders)

Posted in censorship, China, ethnic, Freedom of Information, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Internet, Law, News, People, Politics, SW China, Technology, Tibet, World, writer, Xizang | Comments Off on China’s pre-emptive response to Obama’s free flow of information comments?

Soft power with books does not come easy for China

Posted by Author on October 9, 2009

DPA, via, Oct. 9, 2009

Beijing – In China, interest in serious literature is waning. The typical Chinese readers today read mainly to foster their career and pass their time with popular novels and escape into the world of fantasy stories. In China’s still booming economy, business focus and consumerism are the prevailing trends. Many million Chinese, acting as trendsetters for other countries, read mainly on their computers or mobile phones.

Chinese writers may have more creative freedom today than in the past and describe the country’s rapid change in many, often very personal, facets.

However, they hardly address the problems caused by the underlying Communist system: Censorship, as well as self-censorship, are clear limits for authors wanting to publish in their home country.

China’s stint as special guest at the Frankfurt Book Fair, the world’s largest book-trade fair, is one of Beijing’s most important attempts to present itself abroad not only as an economic power, but also its cultural “soft power.”

However, this modern approach is visibly at odds with outdated attempts at propaganda. In China, no other industry faces more government scrutiny than publishing, which is overwrought with ideology.

The partner of the Frankfurt organizers is none other than the state-run General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP), China’s top censorship body, which decides what can be published in the country of 1.3 billion.

Beijing’s top censors are also in charge of the official Chinese contribution to the fair.

While the guest nations usually leave translation into German and the marketing of the books presented to German publishing houses, the GAPP had 80 books translated into German by themselves, at great financial cost.

“That isn’t smart, as this becomes a showpiece and not really a cultural product,” said Jing Bartz of the Beijing-based German Book Information Centre, a coordination point which helped prepare the 2009 fair.

They could only convince the GAPP to have 25 other Chinese titles promoted by German publishers.

Despite all these censorship efforts, books by critical or exile authors, much loathed by the China’s censors, will still be found at the book fair – away from the official displays.

GAPP could not exercise censorship in Germany, Bartz said. That had been made clear at the beginning of the talks over Chinese participation.

China’s censors in general blacklist topics like the Falun Gong movement, aspirations for Tibetan or Uighur independence as well as the bloody crackdown on the 1989 democracy movement.

Writers who criticize the Communist Party and demand democracy are often persecuted as enemies of the state.

Liu Xiaobo, the chairman of the independent PEN Club in China has been under arrest since December, waiting for his trial on charges of “undermining state power.”

The spread of the internet and the rising popularity of blogs have created new freedoms, which are however not reflected in literature.

There is a spread of different opinions, but those translate more into aspects of daily life, and not politics, said Bartz, a Chinese-born German passport-holder……. (more from

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New Book: “Egg On Mao’s Face”: true epic of a dissident who defaced the Chinese leader’s portrait in Tiananmen Square

Posted by Author on October 4, 2009

By Paul Gessell, The Ottawa Citizen, Canada, Oct. 4, 2009-

Egg on Mao
By Denise Chong
Random House Canada, $32.95

Ottawa author Denise Chong tried to look inconspicuous as she stood at the pre-arranged rendezvous point on a busy street in the Chinese city of Liuyang.

Before arriving, Chong had used a map to memorize the layout of the city and the locations of her clandestine destinations. She did not want to arouse suspicion or provoke queries from helpful strangers by looking lost or in search of something forbidden to foreigners.

Chong is of Chinese ancestry, lived in Beijing for a few years and has travelled to the country frequently, so she has learned how to blend in as much as possible. In her younger days, her glamorous, western-style hairdo and clothes would have instantly betrayed her as a foreigner gliding through a sea of dull Mao suits and stern haircuts.

These days, Chong jokes, she runs the risk of being the dowdy one, the only woman in China, it seems, without a dyed orange streak in her hair.

Amid the traffic of Liuyang, Chong pulled out a faded pink baseball cap and put it on her head. That was the signal. A stranger approached. The two walked towards the Liuyang River. The secrets of Liuyang were about to be revealed.

Those secrets can be found in the newly published book, Egg on Mao: The Story of An Ordinary Man Who Defaced An Icon And Unmasked A Dictatorship. This is Chong’s astounding story of Lu Decheng, a young bus mechanic from Liuyang imprisoned for nine years after he and two friends threw 30 paint-filled eggs on the giant portrait of Mao Tse-tung (often spelled Zedong) permanently displayed in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

The incident happened just after 2 p.m. on May 23, 1989, amid the pro-democracy student protests that ended so brutally when tanks bulldozed their way into the crowds, killing hundreds, if not thousands.

Chong’s book opens with the egg-throwing. The three men are quickly betrayed by the student demonstrators, turned over to the police and sentenced to long years in prison.

Interspersed with these events are alternating chapters on Decheng’s childhood and youth, showing how he came to despise Mao and the communist regime.

This was a regime that disciplined Decheng, while a young schoolboy, for failing to cry at a memorial for Mao, shortly after the death of the communist leader. (This transgression came back to haunt Decheng, the adult, when the authorities were investigating his egg-throwing.)

This was also a regime that tried to prevent Decheng and his girlfriend, Qiuping, both 17 at the time, from living together or getting married. And then when Qiuping became pregnant, the authorities tried to force her to have an abortion because she lacked a birth permit.

This was also a regime that tried to exploit the great love between Decheng, the prisoner, and Qiuping, the dutiful wife, for political purposes. In the end, the regime crushed that love.

By the time Decheng was released from jail, he and Qiuping were divorced. He soon remarried and later fled to Burma, then Thailand and, in 2006, he came to Canada.

Now, in poor health, he lives in Calgary with his second wife and their two sons. Decheng’s daughter from his first marriage has also come to Canada.

The other two egg-throwers served even longer prison sentences than Decheng. They have both recently left China to settle in Indiana. The three men have considerable star power within the West’s Chinese pro-democracy movement……. (more details from The Ottawa Citizen)

Posted in China, Dissident, history, Human Rights, News, People, Politics, Speech, World, writer | Comments Off on New Book: “Egg On Mao’s Face”: true epic of a dissident who defaced the Chinese leader’s portrait in Tiananmen Square

Chinese writer Zhang Lin publicly declared his withdrawal from the Communist Organization

Posted by Author on August 22, 2009

By Xin Fei, Epoch Times Staff, Aug 21, 2009-

Well-known Chinese writer Zhang Lin publicly declared his withdrawal from the Communist Youth League (CYL) August 20 during an interview with the Chinese Epoch Times (Dajiyuan).

Zhang Lin, a democracy activist from eastern China’s Anhui Province, had been serving a five-year sentence for an article he published on the internet in 2005. He was released from prison August 12 for health reasons.

During his time in prison, Zhang was unaware of the current campaign of quitting the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its affiliated organizations. During the interview of August 20, he publicly quit the CYL.

Mr. Zhang said he was greatly moved and inspired when he read the withdrawal statement of Mr. Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Dafa. Mr. Li’s statement of withdrawal from the CYL had been published in the Chinese Epoch Times. Zhang gave the reporter his own statement as follows.

“My mother’s parents were landlords, and she was thus bullied [by the CCP], so I’ve opposed the Communist Party since I was little. I didn’t join the Red Guards or the Communist Young Pioneers.

“However, when I studied at Qinghua University, all of my classmates were members of the CYL or the CCP. I bowed to peer pressure and joined the CYL with an unclear mind. But I haven’t joined any of their activities; neither did I pay dues after a few months.

“I have been out of the CYL for many years, and I’ve bitterly hated the CCP. Even so, having been a member of the CYL and having taken the serious [membership] oath remains a stain on my life and troubles my conscience deeply. Therefore, I solemnly and publicly declare my withdrawal from the CYL and hereby draw a clear and distinct line between myself and all organizations and institutions of the evil CCP.

“I’m not only completely breaking off from the CCP, but will also fight against this devil to the end. Between the righteous and the evil, I will never hesitate to choose justice—no matter how great the price I must pay.”

Zhang said he believes that “only through a declaration of withdrawal from the CCP can one be saved, truly expel the evil spirit, and stand on the side [that is] blessed by God. If we believe in and choose justice and conscience, God will save us,” he continued.

“We must believe in God and trust ourselves to God. There will be a good future.” said Zhang……. (more details)

Posted in China, Human Rights, Journalist, News, Party withdrawal, People, Politics, Social, Speech, World, writer | Comments Off on Chinese writer Zhang Lin publicly declared his withdrawal from the Communist Organization

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