"We are outraged to learn that Miss Li Jianhong, an ICPC member and Shanghai-based writer, was blocked from entering China Mainland in Shenzhen. After being held for about four hours, Li was sent back to the immigration office in Hong Kong where she arrived from Sweden 4 days earlier," said Independent Chinese PEN Centre (ICPC) in a statement on October 15.
"According to Li, the mainland police in Shenzhen didn't interrogate her but searched her luggage and confiscated eight books, including one on Charter 08 .
Earlier this year, Li, who was serving as the ICORN Guest Writer of Stockholm City in Sweden since last April, applied to extend her Chinese passport, which is going to expire in late October. But the Chinese Embassy in Sweden rejected her application. In order to return to China with a valid passport, she had to finish her programme earlier and went to Hong Kong on October 10, 2009, and planned to return home in Shanghai later. Patrick Kar-wai Poon, Vice-president of the ICPC, received Li's phone call at 10:55am today, saying that she was blocked at the checkpoint and then the telephone line was immediately cut off. Li was only able to call us at around 4pm.
Li is currently the ICPC's Cocumentation Secretary and members of ICPC's Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC) and Network Working Committee, as well as a member of ICPC's former Women Writers Committee. She was the recipient of ICPC's Lin Zhao Memorial Prize in 2007 and one of the three persecuted women writers lauded by the International PEN's Writers in Prison Committee and Women Writers Committee during the International Women's Day in 2008. She was appointed the Secretary-general of ICPC's 4th Congress of Membership Assembly, which was just closed in early October, 2009.
As the freedom of expression in China is deteriorating, many writers and journalists, including ICPC Honorary President r. Liu Xiaobo and four other members, have been imprisoned because of their writings and speeches. ICPC is seriously concerned that Li was blocked from returning to China apparently because of her criticism against the government."