***UPDATE: English PEN welcomes the release of dissident writer Zhou Yuanzhi on 15 May 2008. However, he remains under heavy restriction, including being forbidden from travelling beyond his home city without police authorisation, being prohibited from communicating with strangers, and being banned from publishing. These restrictions could last up to six months, during which time Zhou could be formally detained and questioned at any time.
Zhou extends his thanks to all who campaigned on his behalf, believing that international pressure contributed to his release. ***
English PEN is seriously concerned about the detention of dissident writer and member of the Independent Chinese PEN Centre Zhou Yuanzhi, who was arrested on 3 May 2008 on suspicion of ‘inciting subversion of state power’. It is thought that he may be detained for his critical writings published online on various social issues.
According to PEN’s information, Zhou Yuanzhi and his wife were taken away from their home by the police of the National Security Bureau of Zhongxiang City, Hubei Province on 3 May 2008. His wife was later released and placed under house arrest, whilst Zhou remains in custody.
Zhou Yuanzhi, aged 47, is a freelance writer who has published two books in Hong Kong, as well as over 500 political commentaries, reportages, essays and short stories under several pen names in overseas Chinese magazines and on web sites. He is known for his critiques on social issues and official corruption.
Zhou has been previously targeted for his writings. In 1992, after contributing an article to Voice of America radio, he was dismissed from his post as deputy chief of the Zhongxiang City Taxation Bureau and expelled from the Communist Party of China.
Please send appeals:
• Expressing serious concerns about the detention of dissident writer Zhou Yuanzhi, and calling for his immediate and unconditional release if held in violation of Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which China became a signatory in 1998.
His Excellency Hu Jintao
President of the People’s Republic of China
People’s Republic of China.
Chief Judge Mr. WANG Shengjun
President of the Supreme People’s Court
Dongcheng District, Beijing 100745
People’s Republic of China
Procurator General Mr. CAO Jianming
Supreme People’s Procuratorate
Beiheyan Street 147
People’s Republic of China
Please note that fax numbers are no longer available for the Chinese authorities, so you may wish to ask the diplomatic representative for China in your country to forward your appeals:
Her Excellency Mrs. Fu Ying
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China
49 – 51 Portland Place
London W1B 1JL
Originally posted with the url: www.englishpen.org/writersinprison/bulletins/chinadissidentwriterzhouyuanzhidetained/