China: Journalist Qi Chonghuai detained

English PEN is seriously concerned about the detention of journalist Qi Chonghuai, who has  been detained since 25 June 2007, apparently for his publication of an article on official corruption. PEN fears that Qi Chonghuai may be detained in violation of Article 19 of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, to which China is a signatory, and if so calls for his immediate and unconditional release.

 

According to PEN’s information, Qi Chonghuai was arrested from his home in Jinan, the capital  province of Shandong, eastern China, on 25 June 2007. His press card and computer equipment were reportedly confiscated. He was  initially accused of ‘deception’ for allegedly misrepresenting himself as a journalist, before being formally charged with ‘blackmail’ on 2 August 2007. He was held incommunicado until his formal arrest. No evidence has been brought forward to support the charge, and Qi is held at the Detention Center of Tengzhou City pending further investigation. He was arrested following the publication of an article alleging corruption in the Tengzhou Communist Party, which was published in June 2007 on the Xinhuanet website. Freelance photographer Ma Shiping was arrested on 16 June 2007 in connection with photos published in the article, and after Qi Chonghuai’s public support of Ma, the authorities reportedly sought to discredit Qi.

 

From 2004-6, journalist Qi Chonghuai  worked  for various publications, including  the Shangdong Zhoukan (Shandon Weekly), the Renmin Gong’an Bao (People’s Public Security News),  and the Zhongguo Anquan Shengchan Bao.   In June 2006, he started work as director of the newspaper Fazhi Zaobao (Legal System Morning News), which ceased publishing in December 2006 and was reformed with its existing staff as the Fazhi Ribao (Weekend edition of the Legal System Daily). He has also worked as special correspondent with the Fazhi Zhoubao (Legality Weekly) and the Jizhe Guancha (Journalist Observer), and is known for his reporting on corruption and social injustice in Shangdong province.

 

Please send appeals:

 

– Expressing concerns that Qi Chonghuai is held for his critical writings on corruption

– 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. 

 

Government addresses:

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 

 

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

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