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Statement: Free poet Langzi and his friend Peng Heping    

As everyone knows, Langzi (Wu Mingliang), one of our members and a well-known poet from Guangdong province has been detained in China since August 18 after he helped edit and produce a poetry anthology in commemoration of the late Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo. On August 29 Langzi’s friend Peng Heping, who had helped him print his personal collection, was also criminally detained in China. 

Langzi’s case, we believe, is a blatant exposé of the criminalization of poetry, all other forms of literature, and publication by the Chinese government.

Legal protection of people’s right to free movement has been enshrined in the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China. Any breach of this right is a grave violation of the Constitution as well as a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

We strongly demand that:

Langzi and Peng Heping be released unconditionally and immediately and are granted a fair trial in line with international standards, unless there is sufficient credible and admissible evidence that they have committed an internationally recognized offence;

To ensure that they are protected from torture and other ill-treatment, and that they are allowed prompt and regular access to their family, a lawyer of their choice and adequate medical care;

To end the use of politically motivated criminal charges against writers, journalists and human rights activists, and other civil society activists, such as trade unions, in an attempt to harass, intimidate and punish them.

 Bei Ling, Founder, Independent Chinese PEN Center

Sheng Xue, Senior Member, Independent Chinese PEN Center / Vice Chair, Writers for Peace Committee, International PEN

Meng Lang, Co-founder, Independent Chinese PEN Center / Editor, A Poetry Anthology in Commemoration of Liu Xiaobo

September 18, 2017  Lviv