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IPA calls for release from prison of Tibetan author and editor Tragyal

(IPA/IFEX) - Geneva, 24 August - In a letter to Chinese President Hu Jintao dated 24 August 2010, IPA expressed its deep concern over the fate of the distinguished Tibetan author and editor Tragyal and called for his release from prison. Better known under his pen name, Shogdung, he was taken into custody on 23 April 2010 and charged with "inciting splittism" following publication of his book "The Line Between Sky and Earth", and is being held in Xining No. 1 Detention Centre. His arrest is apparently part of a wider crackdown on Tibetan writers and intellectuals.

Bjorn Smith-Simonsen, Chairman of the IPA Freedom to Publish Committee, declares: "Tragyal's arrest for writing critically of China's policies in Tibet in his book violates international guarantees of the right to freedom of expression as embodied in Article 19 of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which China is a signatory. His arrest is also in contradiction with Article 35 of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China granting the right of freedom of expression and freedom to publish. The international publishing community sincerely hopes that he will be released soon. In the meantime, we urge that his family be allowed to visit him and provide him with the medication he needs".

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