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Detained editor allegedly abused, his health deteriorating

(WiPC/IFEX) - The Writers in Prison Committee of International PEN is seriously concerned by reports that Hada (editor's note: the Mongols in Inner Mongolia use only one name), a Mongolian political prisoner held since 1995, has been recently maltreated in detention. International PEN believes Hada, who is serving a fifteen-year sentence for his writings, is held in violation of his rights to freedom of expression as guaranteed under Article 19 of the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which China is a party, and is calling for his immediate and unconditional release. PEN is also seeking assurances of his well being from the Chinese authorities.

According to PEN's information, Hada, editor of "The Voice of Southern Mongolia", is regularly ill treated in Chi Feng prison. There have been unconfirmed reports that Hada has suffered abuse and that his health has deteriorated as a result.

Hada was arrested on 10 December 1995 for his activities as founder and publisher of "The Voice of Southern Mongolia" and for his leading role in the Southern Mongolian Democracy Alliance (SMDA), an organisation that peacefully promotes human rights and Mongolian culture. He was convicted in 1995 of espionage and inciting separatism and sentenced to fifteen years in prison and four years deprivation of his political rights. His sentence expires in 2010. He reportedly suffers from stomach ulcers and coronary heart disease.

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