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China: Chinese pro-democracy writer detained

, Index number: ASA 17/003/2010

Zhao Shiying (better known by his pen name Zhao Dagong), a writer who has called for democratic reform in China, was taken from his home in the city of Shenzhen, near Hong Kong, by police on 11 January. He is a prisoner of conscience, and is at risk of torture or other ill-treatment.

UA: 11/10 Index: ASA 17/003/2010 China Date: 14 January 2010
URGENT ACTION
CHINESE PRO-DEMOCRACY WRITER DETAINED
Zhao Shiying (better known by his pen name Zhao Dagong), a writer who has called for
democratic reform in China, was taken from his home in the city of Shenzhen, near Hong Kong,
by police on 11 January. He is a prisoner of conscience, and is at risk of torture or other ill-
treatment.
The authorities have given no reason for his detention, but it appears to be connected to his signing of a proposal for
legal and political reform known as Charter 08, and his support for an imprisoned author of the document.
According to friends of Zhao Shiying, a dozen police arrived at his home at 11am on 11 January. They searched his
house and took him away some time between 5 and 6pm. They also confiscated his two computers, some
documents, some personal letters and many books. The police did not give Zhao Shiying or his family any reason for
his detention or the confiscation of his property.
Police also briefly detained his wife and adult son. They were both released later the same night, but have been told
by police to not talk about what happened to them or discuss what questions they were asked. On the evening of 12
January, Zhao Shiying’s wife telephoned the police, seeking information about her husbands situation. They told her
that his case is being investigated but refused to tell her why he was detained. Under Chinese law, Zhao Shiying’s
family should have been given formal notification of his detention within 24 hours.
Zhao Shiying has been questioned and warned by authorities not to cause trouble since he put out a public
statement on the internet on 16 December 2009, seeking to share the criminal responsibility for Charter 08 with Liu
Xiaobo.
PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Chinese or your own language:
- - calling on the authorities to release Zhao Shiying immediately and unconditionally, as he is a prisoner of
conscience, detained solely for his peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of expression;
- urging them to guarantee that while he remains in custody, he will not be tortured or otherwise ill-treated, and will
have access to his family, legal assistance of his choosing and any medical care he may require;
- calling on the authorities to end the use of vaguely defined crimes to prevent dissidents and activists from
peacefully demanding legal and political reform.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 25 FEBRUARY 2010 TO:
Director of the Shenzhen Municipal
Public Security Bureau
Li Ming, Juzhang
Shenzhenshi Gonganju
4018 Jiefanglu
Shenzhenshi
Guangdongsheng 518008
People's Republic of China
Fax: +86 755 84464060
Salutation: Dear Director
Acting Mayor of Shenzhen Municipal
Wang Rong, Shizhang
Shenzhenshi Renmin Zhengfu
Fuzhong 3 Lu, Shimin Zhongxin C qu 3
Lou
Futianqu Shenzhenshi
Guangdongsheng 518035
People's Republic of China
Fax: +86 755 82002880
Salutation: Dear Mayor
And copies to:
Prime Minister of the People's Republic
of China
Wen Jiabao, Guojia Zongli
The State Council General Office
2 Fuyoujie, Xichengqu
Beijingshi 100017
People's Republic of China
Fax: +86 10 65961109 (c/o Ministry of
Foreign Affairs
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives of China accredited to your country. Please check with your section office if sending appeals after
the above date.
Date: 14 January 2010
URGENT ACTION
CHINESE PRO-DEMOCRACY WRITER DETAINED
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Zhao Shiying (better know as Zhao Dagong), a member of the non-governmental organization, the Chinese Independent
Pen Centre, has written many articles calling for reform of the Chinese political system and for greater freedom of
expression. Some of his articles can be found at: http://www.boxun.com/hero/zhaodagong/ and
http://zhaodagong.bokee.com/
Charter 08, initially signed by approximately 300 Chinese scholars, lawyers and officials, is a proposal for fundamental
legal and political reform in China that aims to achieve a democratic system that respects human rights. Charter 08 was
published online on 9 December 2008. Numerous signatories of the charter have been questioned and harassed by
Chinese authorities since its launch.
Liu Xiaobo, a well-known scholar, has been detained since 8 December 2008 for writing Charter 08, and was sentenced
to 11 years imprisonment on 25 December 2009 for “Inciting subversion of state power”.
Human rights activists in China who attempt to report on human rights violations, challenge policies that the authorities
find politically sensitive, or try to rally others to their cause, face serious risk of abuse. Authorities use broad and vaguely
defined charges of "stealing, possessing and leaking state secrets" and "subversion" to arbitrarily detain and prosecute
activists, journalists and internet users. Many are jailed as prisoners of conscience after politically motivated trials, while
growing numbers are being held under house arrest with the police conducting intrusive surveillance and standing guard
outside. Since the beginning of 2009, a year that marks several sensitive anniversaries in China, the crackdown on
human rights activists has intensified. Family members of human rights activists, including children, are increasingly
targeted by the authorities in the crackdown.
UA: 11/10 Index: ASA 17/003/2010 Issue Date: 14 January 2010

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