Another mixed week in China, and other news

News from our Freedom to Write program, which launched their China campaign in Demcember: the Chinese government has released Hong Kong-based journalist Ching Cheong on parole from prison in Gangzhou, southern China, where he was serving a five-year sentence for espionage. Just a few days ago, another journalist, Li Changqing, who had served three years in prison for “spreading false and alarmist information,” was released when his sentence expired.

Not all the news is good, however:
Writer and human rights activist Lu Gengsong, who was arrested on August 24, 2007 after his articles critical of the authorities were published online, stood trial before the Hangzhou Intermediate People’s Court on January 22, and today was sentenced to four years in prison and one year’s deprivation of political rights for “inciting subversion of state power.”

On January 30, more than one month after his arrest, activist and blogger Hu Jia was formally charged with “inciting subversion of state power” by the Beijing Municipal People’s Procuratorate. Under Chinese law, Hu can now be held without trial until after the Beijing Olympics. PEN has received reports that he is being denied access to his lawyers because the case involves “state secrets.” His wife, fellow blogger Zeng Jinyan, remains under house arrest, virtually incommunicado, with all communication lines to and from her home cut by Chinese authorities.
In better news:
President Bush has signed PEN-supported legislation that requires the United States to expand programs to resettle Iraqi refugees in the U.S., removing some of the major barriers that have left thousands of Iraqi writers, journalists, and translators stranded and vulnerable in Iraq and neighboring countries.
More information about PEN's efforts to resettle Iraqi writers and translators can be found here.

And for some entirely good news: PEN has added an event to the World Voices festival with Ian McEwan, "American Literature Seen from Abroad," which will be held in conjunction with The New York Times. More information here.

1 comment:

wanda1234 said...

thanks for sharing....

Entertainment at one stop