Boxun Reports Chinese Authorities Have Released Writer Yang Tianshui

January 26, 2005

Boxun reports that Yang Tianshui, a member of the Independent Chinese PEN Center, contacted people to say that he has been released from custody and has returned home. The report did not provide further information. Boxun had previously reported that Chinese authorities detained Yang on December 24 in Hangzhou. On December 31 the Nanjing Public Security Bureau issued a warrant stating that Yang had been arrested on charges of "inciting subversion of state power."

According to the Independent Chinese PEN Center, Yang, aged 43, is a freelance writer who served ten years in prison from 1990-2000 on charges of "counter revolution." He is said to have remained under an order of deprivation of civil rights for a further four years, during which time he reportedly was detained twice for violation of the conditions of the order. Most recent was a 15-day imprisonment from 27 May to 11 June 2004 for his writings commemorating the 15th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square democracy movement.

On January 4 the Independent Chinese PEN Center issued a public call to Chinese authorities to halt their crackdown on writers and release Yang and Dr Li Boguang, a graduate in philosophy, political science, and law, director of the Qimin Research Centre in Beijing, and a freelance writer/journalist, who was detained on December 14 in Fu-an City, 350km south of Shanghai.

The detentions of Yang and Bo were part of a government crackdown on "public intellectuals" during November and December.