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Leading dissident writer still detained without trial after nine months

(WiPC/IFEX) - WiPC protests the continued detention of leading dissident writer Chen Shuqing, who has been held without trial since 14 September 2006, in violation of both Chinese and international law. PEN considers Chen Shuqing to be detained in violation of Article 19 of the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which China is a signatory, and calls for his immediate and unconditional release.

According to PEN's information, Chen Shuqing, a dissident writer and leading member of the Zhejiang Branch of the banned Chinese Democratic Party (CDP), was arrested on 14 September 2006 on subversion charges. His case has twice been handed back to the police for lack of evidence. He went voluntarily to the Daguan Police Station, Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province after receiving a police summons, and following his arrest police raided his home and took away his computer and some documents. The reason for the charge is not known, although he is known for his critical articles published on various overseas Chinese websites such as Boxun, Minzhu Luntan, Dajiyuan, Yi Bao, Guancha, and Xin Shiji.

Chen, aged 42, was previously detained in 1999 for 4 months for his role in the setting up of the banned Chinese Democratic Party. After his release, he trained to become a lawyer, but in 2005, after passing his exams, he was refused a lawyer's licence by the Justice Bureau of Zhejiang Province, who alleged his articles published online had violated China's Constitution. Chen challenged this ruling in court, but lost the case in both the lower and the appeal courts. He has since been subject to police harassment.

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