Human rights groups are calling for the immediate release of Chinese
Internet writer Du Daobin after he was rearrested earlier this week, saying his
detention is part of a pre-Olympics crackdown on political dissent. From VOA's
New York Bureau, Mona Ghuneim reports.
rights organizations say the arrest of Du Daobin is another example of China's
freedom of speech violations. They say the writer and former political prisoner
was arrested by Chinese public security officials and accused of violating
conditions of his release, including continuing to write online articles and
receiving guests without permission.
Bob Dietz, of the Committee to
Protect Journalists, says the rearrest of the prominent dissident writer came as
a surprise to him. Du's arrest comes just days before his probationary period
for 2004 charges was set to expire. Dietz says Du's lawyer has not seen any
documents related to the arrest and considers the detention
"China is very uncomfortable with having people critical of
the government speaking out at this time," he said. "It's not clear to me
exactly what Mr. Du had been doing this time. I think this might be a cautionary
tactic on the part of the government to try and stifle any potential voices of
Dietz says Du is one of 27 journalists who are in Chinese
Larry Siems of the PEN American Center says the New York-based
nonprofit writer-support organization puts the number at 45, including writers,
journalists and bloggers. But both advocates agree that China is not delivering
on its promise for greater media freedom.
Siems says Du's arrest, which
follows the news of charges against another Chinese writer and human rights
advocate, Huang Qi, is an attempt by China to "shelve one more prominent
dissident before the Olympics." He says Du is a member of PEN America's
affiliate organization in China, the Independent Chinese PEN Center, which is
also denouncing the arrest.
Siems says Du's arrest is part of what he
calls China's "cold political calculations."
"It comes three weeks after
it [China] had detained two other Independent Chinese PEN Center members and
lawyers who had been invited by two U.S. representatives [congressmen] who were
in Beijing - Christopher Smith and Frank Wolf - to have dinner with them to
discuss the human rights situation in China and the authorities detained them
and made it impossible for them to go to that dinner," he said.
Chinese government has called the charges of a pre-Olympic campaign against
Rights groups are calling on the international
community to make sure all arrests or detentions in China are reported and to
pressure China to address human rights violations.