China: Concerns for Zhang Jianhong’s health

English PEN is alarmed to hear that the health of prominent writer Zhang Jianhong (aka Li Hong) is rapidly deteriorating. PEN is calling for his immediate and unconditional release on humanitarian grounds, and urges that he receives all necessary medical treatment pending his release.

Zhang was diagnosed in May 2007 with a form of muscular dystrophy, but did not receive any treatment until 20 October 2007, when he was transferred from Qiaosi Prison to the Zhejiang Prison General Hospital. His condition is said to have worsened considerably as a result of prolonged lack of medical care. Repeated applications for medical parole have not been considered.

According to PEN’s information, Zhang Jianhong was convicted by a court in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, eastern China on 19 March 2007 of ‘defaming the Chinese government’ and ‘inciting subversion’ in articles posted online between May and September 2006. Zhang Jianhong has been detained since his arrest on 6 September 2006. On 21 May 2007, the High People’s Court of Zhejiang Province upheld the six-year prison sentence.

Zhang Jianhong, aged 48, is known for his dissident activities and prolific writings. He is also a member of Independent Chinese PEN Centre (ICPC). Zhang was previously imprisoned from 1989-1991 for his pro-democracy activities. In August 2005 he founded the literary website (, of which he was editor-in-chief, and which was banned in March 2006. He is also a regular contributor to the overseas Chinese sites Boxun ( and The Epoch Times (

Please send appeals:

  • Expressing serious concerns about writer Zhang Jianhong’s health and reports that his is not receiving adequate medical care while in prison;
  • Calling for his immediate and unconditional release in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which China became a signatory in 1998, and also on humanitarian, medical grounds.


His Excellency Hu Jintao

President of the People’s Republic of China

State Council

Beijing 100032


Governor of the Zhejiang Provincial People’s Government

LU Zushan

Zhejiangsheng Renmin Zhengfu

9 Shengfulu

Hangzhoushi 310007


Chief of the Zhejiang Provincial Prison Management Bureau

GE Bingyao

Zhejiangsheng Jianyu Guanliju

110 Tianmushanlu



President of the Zhejiang Provincial High People’s Court


Zhejiangsheng Gaoji Renmin Fayuan

5 Machenglu

Hangzhoushi 310012


It may be more effective, however, to send the above letters of appeal care of the Chinese representative in London:

Her Excellency Mrs Fu Ying

49-51 Portland Place

London W1B 4JL

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