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Health of detained dissident writers Guo Qizhen and Wang Guilan alarmingly deteriorating

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders is concerned about the health of two imprisoned dissident writers, Guo Qizhen and Wang Guilan. "We urge the Chinese authorities to release them so that they can receive treatment," the press freedom organisation said.

Guo's wife, Zhao Changqin, received a call from him on 22 February 2009 asking her to bring new supplies of medicine for a necrosis of the femur that is the result of his breaking his leg just before his October 2006 arrest on a charge of "inciting subversion of state authority."

Zhao, who visited her husband on 22 January, is quoted by Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) as saying that the necrosis is getting worse by the day. He can no longer walk without crutches and is in danger of losing the use of the afflicted leg. Zhao is allowed to visit him no more than once every 2-3 months and has to spend 3,000 yuan (approx. 300 euros) on medicine before each visit as the prison authorities still refuse to give him the medicine he needs.

Wang, a writer and petition organiser jailed in Enshi, in Hubei province, needs urgent medical treatment for burns that have become badly infected, as well as for hypertension and cardiac problems.

She was sentenced to 15 months of reeducation through work in connection with her views about the Beijing Olympic Games but, according to CHRD, the reeducation camp to which she was sent in Wuhan refused to take her because of the state of her health. As the authorities in Enshi refused to release her, she is being held in a detention centre in the city. Her relatives say she could die if she is not treated soon.

Updates the Guo Qizhen case:

Updates the Wang Guilan (Guilin) case:

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