China Aid Association
(Atlanta, Ga.—Feb. 23, 2012) The recent conviction and sentencing of longtime dissident Zhu Yufu for posting a poem online has spurred a member of Amnesty International “with a life-long love of poetry” to start a signature campaign to rally support for Zhu.
In a recent e-mail to ChinaAid, the petition campaign organizer said Zhu’s conviction “on spurious charges of inciting subversion by the composition and distribution of the poem ‘It’s Time’ appalls me,” adding that his effort was an attempt “to support Zhu Yufu’s health, safety and freedom.”
The petition is at http://freezhuyufu.blogspot.com
A poetry blog site has also been set up where writers can express their support for Zhu: http://zhuyufu.blogspot.com/
The full text of the press release about this effort is below and available at http://www.pr.com/press-release/388696.
See also English PEN’s tweet and post about the campaign: http://www.englishpen.org/writersinprison/wipcnews/chinazhuyufusentencedto7yearsinprisonforapoem/
Poetry Bar Launches On-Line Petition to Free Zhu Yufu
Poets twist the tail of the Chinese dragon to demand the immediate and unconditional release of imprisoned poet and democracy activist, Zhu Yufu.
Atlanta, GA, February 05, 2012 –(PR.com)– The Camel Saloon today announces the creation of an on-line petition urging the People’s Republic of China to immediately and unconditionally free Zhu Yufu from custody.
Zhu, 60, of Hangzhou, faces a lengthy prison sentence on charges of subverting the state. A key allegation in the prosecution against Zhu is that his poem, It’s Time, incites the public to rise up against the government.
“That’s the point of this demand,” said Russell Streur, operator of The Camel Saloon and author of the petition. “No government can label poetry a crime. The silencing of one poet silences all poets. We demand Zhu’s freedom, now.”
The petition is located at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/free-zhu-yufu/.
All poets and supporters of poetry and free speech are invited to sign the petition. Signing is free and only takes a moment. After the signature process is complete, a donation page will appear. No donation is necessary; a signer may X out of the page if he or she does not wish to contribute to the operation of the site.
About Zhu Yufu
Zhu Yufu has been active in the Chinese democracy movement for decades. A baptized Christian, he has been imprisoned twice before for his commitment to human rights. He was arrested in this case in March of 2011 and has been held ever since. A trial was held on February 2. The verdict has not yet been announced.
About The Camel Saloon
The world’s original on-line poetry bar, The Camel Saloon welcomes submissions of poems, short fiction, photography and works of art from dromedaries, malcontents and jewels in the world. The bar is located at http://thecamelsaloon.blogspot.com/