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Dissident writer Zhou Yuanzhi released from detention under heavy restrictions

(WiPC/IFEX) - WiPC welcomes the release of dissident writer and member of the Independent Chinese PEN Centre Zhou Yuanzhi on 15 May 2008. WiPC remains concerned that he remains under heavy restrictions, and reminds the Chinese authorities of their obligations to Article 19 of the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

According to WiPC's information, Zhou Yuanzhi was taken from his home on 3 May 2008 and held at an unknown location under the Residential Surveillance law, which provides for interrogation of suspects without formal arrest. He reported that during this time he was held at a hotel and questioned by the police about his articles, books, contacts and interviews. He was released on 15 May, but remains under heavy restriction, including being forbidden from traveling beyond his home city without police authorisation, being prohibited from communicating with strangers, and being banned from publishing. These restrictions could last up to six months, during which time Zhou could be formally detained and questioned at any time.

Zhou extends his thanks to all who campaigned on his behalf; he believes that international pressure contributed to his release.

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