China: Two writers under attack

English PEN condemns in the strongest possible terms the attacks on Independent Chinese PEN Centre (ICPC) president Liu Xiaobao and Tibetan dissident writer Woeser.




ICPC president Liu Xiaobo seized and harassed on 19th Anniversary of Tiananmen Square Incident


Chinese Human Rights Defenders, 4 June, 2008:

“On the 19th anniversary of the crackdown on the Tiananmen demonstrations, Liu Xiaobo, prominent Beijing dissident and intellectual, was seized by Beijing police. Liu was released a couple of hours later.

At 6 p.m. today, Liu and his wife Liu Xia were on their way to dinner when they were stopped outside of their apartment block by officers from the local police station under the Beijing Public Security Bureau (PSB). Head of the police station led the effort to seize Liu: he grabbed Liu’s head and neck while several other policemen grabbed Liu’s arms. Together, they forcibly dragged him to a small house nearby. Liu was released a couple of hours later but is now barred from leaving his home.

Liu is a human rights defender, writer, social critic and president of the Independent Chinese PEN. He was imprisoned for twenty months for participating in the 1989 pro-democracy movement. Between 1996 and 1999, he was detained for three years in a Re-education through Labor camp for criticizing the Chinese government. Liu continues to be closely monitored by the authorities and his freedom of movement is often restricted during sensitive times. Prior to the 19th anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre on June 4, police from the National Security Unit of Beijing PSB questioned and warned Liu against writing articles about the crackdown.”


Well-known Tibetan dissident writer/blogger, Woeser, has Skype account hijacked


Students for a Free Tibet wrote:
“Woeser, a well-known Tibetan writer/blogger and political dissident, is under attack.


On the evening of 27th May (Beijing time), Woeser discovered that her Skype account and gmail address were both apparently accessed and her Skype ID hijacked. Sources close to Woeser have reported that the perpetrators are impersonating her and contacting Tibetans in her contact lists. We have reason reason to believe these people could be in grave danger.


On the afternoon of 27th May, at 4pm, a malicious email was sent to contacts in Woeser’s gmail account address book purporting to contain information about a “Tibetan Uprising” and containing a virus attachment.


At around 3am on 28th May Woeser discovered that she could no longer access her blog/website and the content had been changed:


The attack was claimed by the “Honker’s Union of China,” a well-known network of nationalistic Chinese hackers.


She was recently under house arrest by the Chinese government and police have warned her to stop writing about Tibet. She has been a lone voice among Tibetans reporting on recent Tibetan protests across the country and the ensuing crackdown, including details about the situation in Tibetan areas in the wake of the earthquake.


Woeser, 41, uses only one name in the Tibetan tradition. She was born in Lhasa and lives in Beijing with her husband, Wang Lixiong a Chinese writer and intellectual.


All timing is listed in Beijing time.”


For an earlier appeal for Woeser on International Women’s Day 2008, please visit:

Recommended action


– Send appeals to the Chinese authorities protesting the attacks on Woeser and Liu Xiaobo and calling for full, impartial and independent investigations to be launched into each incident.



His Excellency Hu Jintao
President of the People’s Republic of China
State Council
Beijing 100032

It may be more effective to send the above appeal via the Chinese diplomatic representative in London:


Her Excellency Mrs. Fu Ying
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China
49 – 51 Portland Place

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