Svenska PEN protesterar mot den arresteringsvåg av kinesiska författare och intellektuella som skett i samband med demonstrationerna i Hongkong. Särskilt oroande är arresteringarna av Gao Yu, Zhang Miao, Su Changlan och Svenska PEN:s hedersmedlem, författaren Xu Xiao, varför man i ett brev nu uppmanar president Xi Jinping att lägga ner åtalspunkterna mot de fängslade och omedelbart försätta dem på fri fot.
Stockholm, 17 December 2014
It has come to Swedish PEN’s attention that on November 26, police from the Beijing Public Security Bureau seized well-known writer Xu Xiao (徐晓), and put her under criminal detention on suspicion of “endangering state security”. It has also come to our attention that several other journalists have been detained earlier this year: Gao Yu, Zhang Miao and blogger Su Changlan, to mention a few. Hence we see as our duty to inform Your Excellency that the charges made against the four women are not in accordance with international law protecting freedom of expression and the freedom of the press.
In order to maintain our current hopes for the coming of a healthy stabilization of the situation for journalism and freedom of speech inside China, Swedish PEN therefore see no other choice but to strongly condemn the recent detentions of the above mentioned writers and journalists, thus calling for an immediate and unconditional release of Xu Xiao, Gao Yu, Zhang Miao and Su Changlan.
Furthermore Swedish PEN seek assurance that the four women are protected from any torture or other ill treatment, that they will not be transferred to remote prisons, that they have regular access to family members and lawyers of their choosing, and receive all necessary medical treatment. We also call for the likewise immediate and unconditional release of all other prisoners of conscience in China, and to drop charges against any person arrested solely for the peaceful exercise of his or her right to freedom of expression, as well as for all laws which impose unlawful restrictions on the right to freedom of expression to be repealed or amended in line with international human rights standards.
Henrik C. Enbohm
WiPC Swedish PEN
På fotot: He Zhengjun och Xu Xiao.