China: Publisher Yao Wentian (aka Yiu Mantin) sentenced to 10 years in prison

English PEN joins PEN International in condemning the heavy sentencing of Hong Kong-based publisher Yao Wentian on 7 May 2014

According to PEN’s information, publisher Yao Wentian (aka Yiu Mantin), who has been held in Shenzhen since 27 October 2013, was convicted by the Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court on the charge of ‘smuggling prohibited items’ and sentenced to a 10-year jail term on 7 May 2014. PEN believes the trial and conviction to be politically motivated. 

At the time of his arrest, Yao Wentian was preparing to publish a book by US-based dissident writer Yu Jie, entitled Chinese Godfather Xi Jinping. Yao suffers from asthma and a heart complaint and there are serious concerns for his health.

For further information on Yao Wentian, please visit the PEN International website.

TAKE ACTION:

Send appeals to Chinese authorities:

  • Expressing serious concern over the heavy sentencing and health of publisher Yao Wentian;
  • Calling for his immediate and unconditional release if, as feared, he is being persecuted for his professional activities through politically-motivated criminal charges;
  • Protesting the renewed crackdown on government critics, and reminding President Xi of his commitment to tackle official corruption;
  • Reminding the Chinese authorities that Article 35 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China provides for freedom of speech and that as a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which provides for freedom of legitimate expression, the right not to be arbitrarily detained and the right to a fair trial, they are obliged to ‘refrain from acts that would defeat or undermine the treaty’s objective and purpose’.

Send appeals to:

His Excellency Xi Jinping
President of the People’s Republic of China
State Council
Beijing 100032
P.R. China
Fax: +86 10 6238 1025
Salutation: Your Excellency 

Fu Zhenghua
Director, Beijing Public Security Bureau
Beijingshi Gong’anju
9 Dongdajie, Qianmen, Dongchengqu,
Beijing 100740, P.R. China
Fax: +86 10 65242927
Telephone: +86 10 8522 5050 (Chinese only)
Salutation: Dear Director

We also recommend that you write to the Chinese embassy in the UK asking them to forward it and welcoming any comments.

His Excellency Mr Liu Xiaoming
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China
31 Portland Place
London
W1B 1QD
Fax: 020 7636 2981
Salutation: Your Excellency

Or you could use the form below.  A sample letter is provided but it is always better if you put the appeal in your own words.

[ecampaign ‘to=political@chinese-embassy.org.uk‘ subject=”In support of publisher Yao Wentian”]

Your Excellency

I am writing to you as a supporter of English PEN, the founding centre of the international association of writers, to condemn the heavy sentencing of Hong Kong-based publisher Yao Wentian.

According to PEN’s information publisher Yao Wentian (aka Yiu Mantin), who has been held in Shenzhen since 27 October 2013, was convicted by the Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court on the charge of ‘smuggling prohibited items’ and sentenced to a 10-year jail term on 7 May 2014.

At the time of his arrest, Yao Wentian was preparing to publish a book by US-based dissident writer Yu Jie, entitled Chinese Godfather Xi Jinping. Yao suffers from asthma and a heart complaint and there are serious concerns for his health.

I join PEN in calling for his immediate and unconditional release if, as feared, he is being persecuted for his professional activities through politically-motivated criminal charges. 

I also join PEN in protesting the renewed crackdown on government critics in recent months, and reminding President Xi of his commitment to tackle official corruption. I would also like to remind the authorities that not only does Article 35 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China provide for freedom of speech but that as a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which provides for freedom of legitimate expression, the right not to be arbitrarily detained and the right to a fair trial, they are obliged to ‘refrain from acts that would defeat or undermine the treaty’s objective and purpose’.

I would welcome your comments on my appeal.

Yours sincerely

[/ecampaign]

About Cat Lucas

Cat Lucas is English PEN's Writers at Risk Programme Manager

View all posts by Cat Lucas →

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