China: Dissident writer re-arrested

English PEN protests the re-arrest of dissident writer and member of the Independent Chinese PEN Centre Du Daobin, who was detained on 21 July 2008 for apparently violating the conditions of his probation. Du Daobin was previously arrested in October 2003 and sentenced to three years in prison on subversion charges for his online critical writings, but was released conditionally in June 2004 after eight months in prison. He is now thought to be required to serve the remainder of his sentence. English PEN is therefore calling for his immediate and unconditional release, in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which China is a signatory.

The following information comes from Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CRD):


‘On July 21, Du Daobin, a writer on probation for “inciting subversion of state power”, was taken away by police. According to his family, police said Du will have to serve the rest of his term in prison for violating the relevant laws while on probation. At around noon yesterday, half a dozen National Security police from Yingcheng City Public Security Bureau (PSB), Hubei Province, took Du away from his workplace. Police also searched Du’s home and confiscated two computers and some letters. Police alleged that, while on probation, Du published more than a hundred essays on overseas websites, failed to report to the police regularly and did not notify the police when he travelled outside of his hometown and when he hosted guests at home. For these ‘violations’, Du will be sent back to prison. Du has almost finished serving his term after he was convicted in 2004.

Police apparently acted in violation of legal procedures. According to the relevant Chinese laws, to send an individual on probation back to prison, the PSB needs to make an application to the Court. The Court then decides on the application. However, the police did not present any court documents when they took Du away, nor have police notified Du’s family of where he is being held or how he can be contacted.


Du, 43, is a well-known dissident writer from Yingcheng City, Hubei Province. On June 11, 2004, Du was convicted of “inciting subversion of state power” and sentenced to three years’ imprisonment commuted to four years’ probation and two years’ deprivation of political rights. According to the court verdict, between July 2002 and October 2003, Du posted twenty-six articles on internet websites such as Dajiyuan and New Century in China and abroad. Du wrote that the current government is illegitimate and its power “dictatorial, violent, cruel, unfair and corrupt.” As the Chinese government had “lost the qualification to represent the side of justice,” “the issue of subversion of government being illegal does not exist.” These comments were considered slanderous and inciting of subversion of state power.’


Please send appeals:
• Protesting the arrest of writer Du Daobin, and calling for his immediate and unconditional release in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which China is a signatory.
• Urging that he is granted full access to his family and legal representation, and is treated humanely in detention.


Appeals to:
His Excellency Hu Jintao
President of the People’s Republic of China
State Council
Beijing 100032
P.R. China.
Mr. Meng Jianzhu
Minister of the Public Security
East Chang’an Avenue 14
100741 Beijing
P.R. China


Please note that fax numbers are not available for the Chinese authorities, so you may wish to send appeal letters via the diplomatic representative for China in the UK:


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:

About English PEN staff

This content is published by the English PEN staff.

View all posts by English PEN staff →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *