Historian and human rights activist Lü Gengsong [= Lu Gengsong] sentenced to four years in prison for subversion

Historians in the News

The Writers in Prison Committee of International PEN protests the four-year prison sentence handed down to writer and human rights activist Lü Gengsong on 5 February 2008 for ‘inciting subversion of state power’ for his critical writings published online. Lü has been detained since 24 August 2007. International PEN considers Lü Gengsong to be detained in violation of Article 19 of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, to which China is a signatory, and calls for his immediate and unconditional release.

According to PEN’s information, Lü Gengsong was arrested in Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province, on 24 August 2007, following the on-line publication of articles critical of the authorities. His home was searched and his computer and personal files were reportedly confiscated. Lü Gengsong was formally charged on 29 September 2007 with ‘inciting subversion of state power’, a charge which is often used to silence dissidents. He was tried behind closed doors on 22 January 2008 and sentenced to four years in prison by the Hangzhou City Intermediate People’s Court on 5 February 2008. Lü is held at the Xihu (West Lake) Detention Centre in Hangzhou City.

Lü Gengsong, a history graduate from Zhejiang University, taught at the Zhejiang Higher Professional School of Public Security before being expelled in 1993 because of his pro-democracy activities. He went on to become a freelance writer, and has published several books on political reform, inclüding A History of Chinese Community Party Corrupt Officials in 2000. Lü is known for his reporting on human rights violations and his political commentaries published on the Internet. He is also an active member of the banned China Democracy Party (CDP).


**Protesting the four-year sentence handed down to dissident writer Lü Gengsong for his critical writings and pro-democracy activities;

**Calling for his immediate and unconditional release in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which China is a signatory.

Please note that there are no fax numbers for the Chinese authorities. WiPC recommends that you copy your appeal to the Chinese embassy in your country asking them to forward it and welcoming any comments.


His Excellency Hu Jintao
**President of the People’s Republic of China
**State Council
**Beijing 100032

Procurator General Mr. Jia Chunwang
**Supreme People's Procuratorate
**Beiheyan Street 147
**100726 Beijing

Please note that fax numbers are no longer available for the Chinese authorities, so you may wish to ask the diplomatic representative for China in your country to forward your appeals.

Please copy appeals to the diplomatic representative for China in your country if possible.

For further information please contact Cathy McCann at International PEN Writers in Prison Committee, Brownlow House, 50/51 High Holborn, London WC1V 6ER, Tel.+ 44 (0) 20 7405 0338, Fax: +44 (0) 20 7405 0339, email: cathy.mccann@internationalpen.org.uk

**Please contact NCH if sending appeals after 05 March 2008**

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