Oslo, 21 March 2007
His Excellency Hu Jintao
President of the People’s Republic of China
Beijing 100032, P.R.China
I, as Chair of Writers in Prison Committee Norwegian, PEN protest the six-year prison sentence handed down to prominent writer Zhang Jianhong (aka Li Hong) on 19 March 2007 on subversion charges for his critical writings.
Zhang Jianhong has been detained since his arrest on 6 September 2006, when more than 20 police officers searched his home in Ningbo. He is a leading writer in the region and is known for his dissident activities and prolific writings. He is a member of Independent Chinese PEN centre (ICPC).
Norwegian PEN is alarmed about the heavy prison sentence handed down to leading writer Zhang Jianhong and the continued detention of dissident writers Yang Maodong (aka Guo Feixiong) and Chen Shuqing. All three appear to be held for their critical writings and dissident activities.
I call for their immediate and unconditional release in accordance with Article 19 of the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which China is a signatory, and seek immediate assurances that whilst detained they are treated humanely.
Confident that you, Your Excellency, will see to it that the Chinese authorities respect the basic rights of Zhang Jianhong ,Yang Maodong and Chen Shuqing and grant them full access to their families, lawyers and any necessary medical care, I remain,
Elisabet W. Middelthon
Chair Writers in Prison Committee, Norwegian PEN
Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Oslo
The Norwegian Embassy in China, Beijing
The Chinese Embassy in Norway, Oslo
The Chinese Embassy in Norway is kindly requested to forward this letter by fax or e-mail to His Excellency Hu Jintao, President of the People’s Republic of China