2016 China: Gao Yu

Norsk PEN fears for the safety, health, and well-being of dissident journalist Gao Yu.  We plead for the overturning of her wrongful conviction, and appeal to Chinese authorities to aid her in travel to Germany for necessary medical attention.

 

His Excellency Xi Jinping

President of the People’s Republic of China

Your Excellency,                                                                                                           Oslo, 15 April 2016

 

On behalf of the Norwegian Writers in Prison Committee and Norwegian PEN, I express grave concern at the ongoing harassment of Beijing- based veteran dissident journalist Gao Yu.

Gao Yu has been consistently, unfairly persecuted for her political opinions, and denied her right to freedom of expression. Gao (formerly the chief editor of Economics Weekly) was not only barred from publishing, but has faced multiple arrests and convictions, dating back to her coverage of student protesters in Tiananmen Square in 1989. Gao has served over six years in prison in her lifetime, and is now serving another five-year sentence for her conviction of ‘leaking state secrets abroad’.

Gao Yu was released on medical parole on 26 November 2015 following an appeal and the deterioration of her health, including several reported heart attacks while in detention. Though she will be allowed to serve the remainder of her sentence outside of prison, PEN and the WIPC express serious concern for Gao Yu’s well-being.

Gao Yu’s application to travel to Germany to seek medical attention was denied by the Chinese authorities in February 2016. According to reports, she has been left without access to her state pension and has no access to medical insurance. We urge the Chinese authorities to ensure that she is provided with adequate medical treatment, and that her access to her medical insurance is restored. We request that Gao be allowed to travel to Germany for medical treatment, for which she has already been granted a visa.

It is reported that Gao Yu was hospitalized after the Beijing Municipal Bureau of City Administration and Law Enforcement identified her garden for destruction on 31 March 2016. Gao Yu remains in hospital, though her condition has now stabilized.

On 31 March 2016, some 20 or more plainclothes police and urban management officials, known as “chengguan,” came to Gao Yu’s Beijing home without warning, destroyed her garden without a court order, and reportedly beat her son, Zhao Meng.

Norwegian PEN and the WIPC demand that the state-sponsored harassment of Gao Yu cease immediately, and we also call for the quashing of her conviction, as she was convicted and sentenced after an unfair trial for her legitimate professional activities.

Furthermore, we would like to remind the Chinese authorities of their legal obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. As a signatory to the ICCPR, China has a duty to provide for freedom of legitimate expression, the right not to be arbitrarily detained, the right to a fair trial, and the right to leave one’s own country. We demand that Gao Yu’s fundamental human rights be protected and fulfilled by China immediately, and for the authorities to refrain from acts that undermine the object and purpose of the ICCPR.

Yours sincerely,

Writers in Prison Committee
Norwegian PEN

Ms Brit Bildøen                                                                       Ms Iva Gavanski Chair                                                                                             Advisor

Copy: Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Velkommen til 8. mars-foredrag på Litteraturhuset

8.mars på Litteraturhuset – Hvordan stoppe tvangsekteskap og barneekteskap?

Hver dag giftes 37 000 jenter under 18 år bort, de fleste mot sin vilje. Dette skjer med 1 av 3 jenter i utviklingsland, og det bryter med barns rettigheter. Barneekteskap fratar ofte jenter retten til utdanning, det utsetter jentene for graviditet og fare ved fødsel og det fratar dem retten til selv  å velge sin framtid. Utgangspunktet for at dette skjer verden over er fattigdom og holdninger om at jenter ikke er like mye verdt, og at familien er forpliktet til å beskytte hennes ære for slik å beskytte seg selv fra skam. Kulturen disse holdningene fødes i, finnes også i Norge. Over 300 barn i Norge lever i fare for tvangsekteskap ifølge Inkluderings- og mangfoldsdirektoratet.
Hvordan kan vi sikre at jentene for oppfylt sin rett til medbestemmelse og fritt valg av framtid, både i Norge og i verden?

Program

16:00-16:05        Velkommen ved moderator Ellen Høvik, kampanjesjef, Plan Norge
16:05-16:10        Hvorfor fokus på barne- og tvangsekteskap – Kjell Erik Øie, generalsekretær, Plan Norge
16:10-16:15        Presentasjon av advokat og feminist Canan Arin og intervjuer Birgitte Huitfeldt ved Hege Newth Nouri, Norske PEN
16:15-17:00        Intervju med Canan Arin
17:00-17:05        Intro paneldebatt
17:05-17:10        Status for barneekteskap i verden – Kjell Erik Øie, generalsekretær i Plan Norge
17:10-17:15        Om jenters personlige erfaringer (TBC)
17:15-17:20        Erfaringer fra førstelinjetjenesten og MinoTenk – Navjot Sundhu, politi og styreleder MinoTenk
17:25-17:30        Hvorfor skal vi snakke om tvangsekteskap og hvordan støtte jentene best mulig – Ulrik Imitaz Rolfsen, filmregissør
17:20-17:25        Erfaringer med å velge fritt på tvers av familiens ønsker – Tina Shagufta Kornmo, lege og styremedlem LIM
17:25-17:55        Samtale og spørsmål fra salen
17:55-18:00        Oppsummering

Intervjuet med Canan Arin og en innledning vil være på engelsk, resten av arrangementet vil foregå på norsk. Det serveres kaffe.
Arrangementet er gratis og finner sted i Amalie Skram-salen på Litteraturhuset 8. mars.

Dato: 8.mars, 16:00 – 18:00
Sted: Litteraturhuset (Amalie Skram)

PEN International markerer kvinnedagen:

Vi viser til meldingen på engelsk nedenfor.  det vil bli orientert nærmere om dette på møtet på Litteraturhuset:

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

8 March 2015

On 8 March, while the world celebrates International Women’s Day, PEN International and the Women Writers Committee​ will be protesting the imprisonment and/or persecution of three courageous women writers: Khadija Ismayilova (Azerbaijan), Sanjuana Martínez Montemayor(Mexico) and Gao Yu(China).

Each of these women has suffered prolonged persecution – either at the hands of their respective governments, or from other parties  purely because of their work. They also each share a strong connection with PEN, whether as a PEN member or through collaborative work with us: Ismayilova participated in a PEN International-Article 19 side event on Azerbaijan at  the United Nations’ 16th Universal Periodic Review session in 2013; Martínez collaborated with English PEN to highlight the case of the persecuted journalist, Lydia Cacho; Gao Yu is a long-standing member of the Independent Chinese PEN Center (ICPC).

We hope that you will join us in protesting the imprisonment and/or persecution of Khadija Ismayilova, Sanjuana Martínez Montemayor and Gao Yu.

2014 Kina: Gao Yu

Oslo, 12. November 2014

 

His Excellency Xi Jinping
President of the People’s Republic of China
State Council
Beijing 100032
P.R. China

 

Your Excellency

Beijing-based veteran journalist, Gao Yu, ‘disappeared’ on 23 April 2014 and was held incommunicado for two weeks before the authorities disclosed, in a televised ‘confession,’ that she was being held on suspicion of ‘leaking state secrets abroad’. She remains detained pending trial, and faces a lengthy prison sentence if convicted. Her precise whereabouts are unknown, and there are serious concerns for her well-being. PEN believes that Gao Yu is being persecuted for her legitimate professional activities, and is calling for her immediate and unconditional release.

Gao Yu, now aged 70, is former chief editor of Economics Weekly and contributor to the German newspaper Deutsche Welle. At the time of her disappearance she was writing a column titled “Party Nature vs. Human Nature”, which is said to focus on the new leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and its internal conflicts. The article was never submitted, and when she did not attend as scheduled a 26 April event in Beijing to commemorate the 4 June 1989 anti-government protests which were brutally suppressed, friends reported her disappearance. Gao Yu had also been due to travel to Hong Kong to speak at the annual awards ceremony of the Independent Chinese PEN Center (ICPC), of whom she is a member, on 3 May.

Norwegian PEN

 

·         is concerned about the arrest and well-being of veteran journalist Gao Yu, and urge that she isprotected from ill-treatment and granted access to family and a lawyer of her choice;

·         call for her immediate and unconditional release if, as feared, she is being persecuted for her legitimate professional activities;

·         remind the 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”.

 

Sincerely

Carl Morten Iversen
Secretary General

Fengslede Forfatteres Dag 2014

På denne dagen plukker PEN Internationals dyktige etterforskere i London ut fem saker som vies særskilt oppmerksomhet.  Årets fem saker gjelder:

Nelson AGUILERA, skribent og lærer fra Paraguay, dømt til 30 måneders fengsel for påstått plagiering
Azimjon ASKAROV, journalist fra Kirgisistan, dømt til livstid for å organisere en massedemonstrasjon, samt deltagelse i mordet på en politimann
Dieudonné Enoh MEYOMESSE, poet fra Kamerun, soner syv års fengsel for påstått ulovlig salg av gull
Mahvash SABET, lærer og poet og medlem av Baha’i-samfunnet i Iran, soner 20 års fengsel på grunn av sin tro
Gao YU, journalist fra Kina som ble fengslet på mistanke om at hun “lekket statshemmeligheter til utlandet”.

På hvert navn ligger en lenke til ytterligere informasjon om hver enkelt sak.  Øverst til høyre på åpningssiden, under overskriften “Fengslede Forfattere”, ligger protestbrevene som er sendt til de aktuelle myndighetene.

2014 Kina: Gao Yu

Norway, 20 May 2014

His Excellency Xi Jinping
President of the People’s Republic of China
State Council
Beijing 100032
P.R. China
Fu Zhenghua
Director, Beijing Public Security Bureau
Beijingshi Gong´anju 9 Dongdajie, Quianmen, Donchengqu
Beijing 100740

P.R. China
Chinese Embassy in Oslo, Norway
Tuengen Alle 2B, Vinderen 0244

Oslo, Norway

Your Excellencies,

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”.

Yours sincerely,

Ms Trine Kleven

Chair of Writers in Prison Committee, Norwegian PEN

www.norskpen.no