Oslo, December 23rd 2014
His Excellency Xi Jinping
President of the People’s Republic of China
Dear Mr. President,
PEN International and the International Publishers Association are deeply concerned at a new wave of arrests of writers, journalists, publishers and civil society activists in China in recent weeks, apparently for their public support of the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.
The Norwegian Writers in Prison Committee is expressing serious concern for the arrest and well-being of Xu Xiao, Xue Ye and Liu Jianshu He Zhengjun, Kuo Yanding and Zhang Miao, calling for their immediate and unconditional release if, as is feared, they are being persecuted for their legitimate professional activities and peaceful exercise of their right to free expression.
We protest against the renewed crackdown on government critics in recent months, and reminding 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, the right to a fair trial, and that the government refrain from acts that would defeat or undermine the treaty’s objective and purpose.
Member of Writers in Prison Committee
COPY: The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs