Norway, 20 May 2014
His Excellency Xi Jinping
President of the People’s Republic of China
Director, Beijing Public Security Bureau
Beijingshi Gong´anju 9 Dongdajie, Quianmen, Donchengqu
Chinese Embassy in Oslo, Norway
Tuengen Alle 2B, Vinderen 0244
I write to you as a member of Norwegian PEN, the local section of PEN International, the writer`s and free expression organisation with 140 centres in over 100 countries around the world, including China and many other countries in your region.
Journalist Gao Yu, aged 70, went missing 24 April, and is being detained by Beijing Police on the charge of “leaking state secrets abroad”. She is accused for leaking a secret document to editors of a foreign website in August 2013.
PEN is expressing serious concern for the arrest and well-being of Gao Yu, and urging that she is protected from ill-treatment and that she is granted access to family and a lawyer of her choice. PEN is also expressing concern that she has been shown “confessing” on state television, in contravention of her right to a fair trial.
Therefore, PEN is calling for her immediate and unconditional release if, as feared, she is being persecuted for her legitimate professional activities.
PEN would like to remind Chinese authorities that Article 35 of the constitution of the People’s Republic of China provides for freedom of speech and that as a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which provides for freedom of legitimate expression, the right not to be arbitrarily detained and the right to a fair trial, they are obliged to “refrain from acts that would defeat or undermine the treaty’s objective and purpose”.
Ms Trine Kleven
Chair of Writers in Prison Committee, Norwegian PEN