Detention of Writer Zheng Yichun Prompts Rights Groups to Voice Concern

March 28, 2005

Several human rights groups, including the Independent Chinese PEN Center, Reporters Without Borders, and the Committee to Protect Journalists, have expressed concern that Chinese public security authorities have arrested journalist Zheng Yichun. According to these groups, Zheng's family reported that public security officers initially detained him on December 3, 2004. Since December 20, police have held him in No. 1 Prison of Panjin city, Liaoning province. Authorities notified Zheng's family on December 31 that he had been arrested and charged with advocating subversion. At that time, officials warned the family not to inform the news media or human rights groups, and the family therefore did not speak about the arrest until China's state-controlled media published news accounts of the charges on February 24, 2005.

Zheng was born on January 27, 1959, in Yingkou City, Liaoning province. Zheng is one of at least five journalists that Chinese authorities have arrested in the past four months, including Zhang Lin, Shi Tao, Yang Tianshui, and Li Boguang.