China: Amnesty International fears for imprisoned Internet user

Since his arrest Wang Jinbo has reportedly been on hunger strike five times in protest at his treatment. The authorities have reportedly cut off his family's telephone in recent days.

His imprisonment is a consequence of Wang Jinbo sending articles overseas to Chinese organisations via the Internet, calling for a re-evaluation of the 1989 Tiananmen protests and the release of political prisoners in China.

Wang Jinbo is one of dozens of people who have been detained for Internet-related 'offences' in violation of fundamental human rights guaranteeing freedom of opinion and expression.

Amnesty International is asking for appeals to be sent as quickly as possible, in English or Chinese:

  • expressing concern for the safety of Wang Jinbo, who has reportedly been beaten by fellow prisoners in prison and expressing concern at reports that prison authorities have refused to take any action against those involved;
  • urging that immediate measures be taken by the authorities to guarantee his safety;
  • calling for a full, independent and impartial investigation into these allegations and to make the results public;
  • urging that those found responsible, including officials who may have failed to take action to prevent the abuse are brought to justice;
  • calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Wang Jinbo as a prisoner of conscience imprisoned for the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression and association;
  • pointing out that China ratified the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment in October 1988 but has failed to introduce effective measures and safeguards to prevent torture.

Please send appeals to (Time difference = GMT + 8 hrs / BST + 7 hrs):

Acting Governor of the Shandong Provincial People's Government

ZHANG Gaoli Daishengzhang, Shandongsheng Renmin Zhengfu, 1 Shengfuqianjie, Jinanshi Shandongsheng, People's Republic of China

Telegram: Acting Governor, Jinan, Shandong Province, China

Email: contest@sdonline.cn.net

[Salutation: Dear Governor]

Minister of Justice

Zhang Fusen, Sifabu (Ministry of Justice), 10 Chaoyangmen Nandajie, Chaoyangqu, Beijingshi 100020, People's Republic of China

Telegram: Justice Minister, Beijing, China

Fax: 00 86 10 65 292345 (c/o Ministry of Communications)

E-mail: minister@legalinfo.gov.cn

[Salutation: Dear Minister]

Please send copies of your appeals to:

His Excellency Mr Zha Peixin, Embassy of China, 49-51 Portland Place, London W1B 1JL.

Fax: 020 7636 2981.

Email: press@chinese-embassy.org.uk

Appeals should be sent before 19 March 2003.

Background

In November 2002, Amnesty International published a 15-page report, 'State Control of the Internet in China', which shows that China's response to rapid internet expansion in China has, during the past five years, included the imprisoning of numerous people for 'internet crimes.'

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