Home Page > News Item > Marian Botsford Fraser, PEN International Writers in Prison Committee Chair, testifies to the Congressional-Executive Commission on China

8 December 2011

On Tuesday 6 December 2011, the Congressional-Executive Commission on China held a hearing in Washington D.C. on ‘One Year After the Nobel Peace Prize Award to Liu Xiaobo: Conditions for Political Prisoners and Prospects for Political Reform’.

As part of a PEN delegation who visited Beijing in July 2011, Marian Botsford Fraser testifies to the stark climate for free expression in China and welcomes the strong denunciations of Liu’s imprisonment from a number of distinguished organizations and bodies, including the Commission on China and the United Nations. She asserts:

‘PEN has been doing everything we can to win Liu Xiaobo’s immediate and unconditional release from Jinzhou Prison in Liaoning Province, and secure the right of all Chinese citizens, our writer colleagues included, to express themselves freely without fear of censorship, imprisonment, or harassment. PEN centers around the world have raised Liu’s case with their own governments, urging them to join the international condemnation of this clear human rights violation. Our members have brought his plight and his voice to prominence and into the public eye through readings, rallies, articles, letters, petitions, and events…’

She also bears witness to the courage displayed by many Chinese writers and dissidents:

‘New forms of expression are being found to express bold new ideas throughout the country, despite the government’s heavy hand.’

Read the full text of Marian Botsford Fraser’s testimony here.

Watch the hearing here.

For further information, please contact Marian Botsford Fraser m.b.f@sympatico.ca or Cathy McCann cathy.mccann@pen-international.org

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