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International PEN Melbourne Centre CHINA ACTION – YANG Hengjun

April 10, 2021 IN WIP
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International PEN Melbourne Centre

Defending persecuted writers, freedom of expression and promoting cultural understanding through literature

 

CHINA ACTION

YANG Hengjun

Yang Hengjun is an Australian novelist, blogger and political commentator who is committed to the advancement of human rights and political reform in the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

A keen commentator on Chinese politics and the virtues of democratic pluralism, Yang’s writing has been regularly featured in The Diplomat and his blog posts garnered a significant following on Chinese social media, earning himself the nickname of ‘Democracy Peddler’. As a novelist, he has authored a fictional spy trilogy known as the Fatal Series.

Yang was abducted by the security services when visiting the PRC with his family in January 2019, and on 7 October 2020 he was formally charged with espionage. If convicted, Yang faces a potential sentence ranging from three years’ imprisonment to the death penalty.

PEN International considers Yang Hengjun’s detention to be a clear breach of his right to freedom of expression and calls for his immediate and unconditional release.

Take Action by:

  1. Sending an appeal to the Chinese authorities
  2. Telling others: share Yang’s case and his work via Twitter (see below)

In your letter request that the authorities:

  • Release Yang Hengjun immediately and unconditionally.
  • Allow Yang Hengjun’s family to leave the PRC without any restrictions.
  • Provide Yang Hengjun with unrestricted access to legal representatives of his choosing and to representatives of the Australian government.
  • End all policies that contravene the PRC government’s international human rights obligations.

Write to:

President Xi Jinping

General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party and President of the People’s Republic of China.

Address: General Secretary Office, Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, Zhongnanhai Ximen, Fuyou Street, Xicheng District, Beijing 100017

People’s Republic of China

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mfa_china

Ambassador CHENG Jingye

Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the Commonwealth of Australia

Address: 15 Coronation Drive, Yarralumla, ACT 2600, Australia.

Email: chinaemb_au@mfa.gov.cn

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/China…

Ambassador ZHANG Jun

Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations.

Address: 350 East 35th Street, New York, NY 10016, USA.

Email: chinamissionun@gmail.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/chinaambun

Tell others: share Yang Hengjun’s case and his work on Twitter:

#YangHengjun’s detention is a breach of his right to freedom of expression. I call for his immediate and unconditional release.

 

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People say that (writers) are pretty powerless: we don’t have an army, we don’t have a bureaucracy. But if that were true, then why would writers be arrested?... Because the spoken word is powerful.

— John Ralston Saul on the work of PEN International