Writers in Prison (9)

Chen Xi (陈西, born 28 February 1954), a freelance writer and human rights activist from Guizhou, is currently serving a 10-year imprisonment in Xingyi Prison, Xingyi City, Guizhou Province.

Chen previously served three years in prison for forming the [Guizhou] Patriotic and Democratic Federation during the 1989 democracy movement. In 1996, Chen organized and then formed the Guizhou branch of the China Democracy Party in an attempt to seek political rehabilitation for the participants of the 1989 movement. He was sentenced to ten years in prison for “counter-revolutionary crimes”.

After his release in 2005, Chen Xi and his friends founded Guizhou Human Rights Forum on 10 December celebrating the UN Human Rights Day. The Forum organized regular symposiums and other activities advocating human rights, for which Chen was taken into custody several times by the Guiyang authorities. In November 2011, Chen was detained for 36 essays he wrote that were posted on overseas websites, and after he tried to obtain information about a local People’s Congress election. On 5 December 2011, the Guizhou Human Rights Forum was declared by Guizhou authorities to be an “illegal organization”. On 26 December 2011, Chen Xi was convicted of “inciting subversion of state power” by the Guizhou Intermediate People’s Court and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment with an additional 3-year deprivation of political rights.

Chen’s articles: http://blog.boxun.com/hero/chenxiwenji/

Chen Xi believes that “human rights in China will not come without a struggle”.

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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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