Writers in prison

Writers in prison

Liu Jingsheng was arrested in 1992, one of 15 dissidents detained for their involvement in pro-democracy underground opposition groups. The dissidents were tried en masse behind closed doors in July 1994, and Liu was sentenced to 15 years for various "counter-revolutionary offences", including trying to form an independent labour union. He had also attempted to drop leaflets on Tiananmen Square using a remote-controlled toy airplane. Liu, who is married with a daughter, is currently being held in Beijing No 2 Prison, where his health is reported to be failing. When, in September 1996, his wife protested at his being kept in solitary confinement, the Chinese responded by depriving him of his monthly family visit.

However, Liu's prison sentence has twice been reduced for "good behaviour", once in May 2000 and again in July 2001. He is currently due to be released on 27 February 2006.

Appeals to:

His Excellency Mr Zha Peixin
Embassy of the People's Republic of China
49-51 Portland Place
London W1B 1JL
Fax: 020 7636 2981

Melissa Benn, Writers in Prison Committee, PEN