CHINA: Internet journalist Guo Qizhen sentenced to four years in prison

The Writers in Prison Committee of English PEN protests the four-year prison sentence handed down on 16 October 2006 to Internet writer Guo Qizhen on subversion charges. Guo has reportedly been held since 12 May 2006 for his critical writings and pro-democracy activities.

Guo is said to be in poor health and held without access to adequate care. English PEN considers journalist Guo Qizhen to be detained in violation of Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which China became a signatory in 1998, and calls for his immediate and unconditional release.

According to PEN’s information, cyber-dissident Guo Qizhen was arrested at his home on 12 May 2006 and charged with ‘inciting subversion of state power’ on 8 June 2006. His arrest appears to be linked to his participation in a rotating hunger strike which has been taking place by pro-democracy activists since 4 February 2006 to protest against human rights violations in China. The charges are believed to be based on his anti-government articles published online on overseas websites.

Guo is currently held at Cangzhou detention centre No.2 in Hebei Province, central China. He was reported to be in a fragile psychological state and suffering from a broken leg, for reasons that remain unclear to PEN. The detention centre where he is held is said to lack the medical facilities required to give him adequate treatment.

Please send appeals:

– protesting the detention of Internet writer Guo Qizhen, 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 became a signatory in 1998;

– expressing serious concerns about his health, and urging that whilst detained his basic rights are respected and that he is granted full access to his family and all necessary medical care.

Appeals to:

His Excellency Hu Jintao

President of the People’s Republic of China

State Council

Beijing 100032

P.R.China.

Procurator General Mr. Jia Chunwang

Supreme People’s Procuratorate

Beiheyan Street 147

100726 Beijing

P.R.China

(Please note that there are no fax numbers for the Chinese authorities. It is recommended that you copy your appeal to the Chinese embassy in your country asking that they forward your appeal and welcoming any comments)

Please remember to send a copy of your appeals to rapidactionnetwork@englishpen.org

Originally posted with the url: www.englishpen.org/writersinprison/bulletins/chinainternetjournalistguoqizh/

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