The China campaign

PRESS RELEASE

The China campaign

International PEN, as several other international human rights NGOs, is currently planning a comprehensive campaign focusing on human rights and freedom of expression infringements in connection with the August 2008 Beijing Olympic games.

The kind of leverage that the Olympic games represent for the international free expression community towards Chinese authorities cannot be ignored.  Already at the bi-annual PEN Writers in Prison-conference in Istanbul last March, ideas for a China campaign were launched.  The plans were later confirmed by international PEN world congress in Berlin in May and an international steering group has now been established.

The  idea is to focus on freedom of expression infringements in China from March  and through December 2008 in order to monitor any change regarding Chinese authorities´ stifling of dissident voices.  The campaign will run both on an international and local level.  International PENs Writers in Prison committee is planning a number of activities, including a campaign web-site and a possible mission this fall.  Within their fields of expertice and local capacity, PEN centers around the world will follow up with letter campaigns and information specially targeted at journalists and atlethes.

Details for the whole campaign will be presented later this year.  In the meantime, campaign strategy and funding will be one of the themes at a regional Asia-Pacific PEN conference in Hong Kong, February 2. – 5.  The campaign steering group is also seeking information from other groups planning similar campaigns, with a particular view to possible cooperation.

29. January 2007