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Writers in Prison (8)

Yang Tongyan (杨同彦, a.k.a. Yang Tianshui 杨天水, born 12 April 1961), a freelance writer, member of the Independent Chinese PEN Center, is currently serving a 12-year sentence in Nanjing Prison, Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province.


Yang is a longtime dissident and author of numerous political essays advocating for democracy and political reform. Between 1990 and 2000, Yang was imprisoned for ten years for organizing the China Democratic League (中华民主联盟). Yang’s articles from 2002 to 2005 were cited as evidence and used to convict him. In May 2006, he was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for “subvertion of state power”.


These articles include:


PRC’s National Day Marks the Start of Disasters for the Nation

To the Power-Holder of the CCP

Everyone Has The Right To Oppose The Authoritarian System


“Several Activists and Dissidents Languish in Detention despite Serious Illnesses” (November 5, 2009)



Protesting against the organizers of the London Book Fair 2012 who have not featured in their programme any writers imprisoned by the Chinese regime, this blog will be highlighting one such writer every day leading to the book fair. Although this will only show the tip of the iceberg of today’s ‘literary persecution’ under the rule of the CCP, I hope it will make more people realize the necessity of our daily question: Why haven’t British Council, Reed Exhibitions and London Book Fair invited Liu Xiaobo and other writers imprisoned by the CCP?


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