The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is
dismayed to learn that several writers
and human rights activists were detained or harassed by authorities in China after
they signed a joint statement calling on the National People’s Congress
Standing Committee to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political
The statement, issued on the 60th
anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, also
launched Charter 08, which demands bold political reforms that promote human
rights and democracy and articulate the principles for a platform of citizens’
December 8, writers Liu Xiaobo and Zhang Zuhua were interrogated by officials
of the Beijing Public Security Bureau and the Ministry of State Security after
they signed Charter 08. The IFJ is informed that Liu is still detained.
ransacked Zhang’s house. Some of his belongings, including computers, notebooks
and passbooks were confiscated.
Kejian, Chen Xi, Shen Younian and Du Heping, who are writers and human rights
activists, were detained and questioned separately by police in Guizhou and Hangzhou.
They were warned the assembly of the Fourth Guizhou Citizens’ Forum on Human
Rights on December 10 was “illegal”.
“The IFJ calls on authorities in China to abide by the principles of China’s Constitution and end the harassment of those
who seek to express their views, including writers detained because they called
for ICCPR ratification and reforms to support human rights in China,” IFJ
General Secretary Aidan White said.
signatory to the ICCPR, China
needs to ratify its commitment to the Convention’s principles, including freedom
of expression. Ratification would bring China’s position in line with its
own Constitution, which enshrines freedom of expression as a right.
“The IFJ urges
the National People’s Congress Standing Committee to ratify the ICCPR and
support the Charter 08.”
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +612 9333 0919
represents over 600,000 journalists in
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