Tag Archives: zhu yufu

Free Zhu Yufu

Zhu Yufu

From Russell Streur

Many of you are aware of, and have participated in, the Saloon’s support for the imprisoned Chinese poet, Zhu Yufu.  He has now spent 953 days in custody and still has years to serve until his sentence is scheduled to end in 2019.

News comes this weekend that Chinese authorities refused to allow an activist US physician to evaluate Zhu’s medical condition.  The American doctor risked the unorthodox intervention after hearing descriptions of the dissident’s ill-health.  Prison officials gave the bum’s rush to the gray-haired grandmother, Devra Marcus of Virginia.  The story can be found here:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/chinese-prison-officials-thwart-virginia-doctors-effort-to-visit-ailing-dissident/2013/10/12/a94c8a04-3313-11e3-9c68-1cf643210300_story_1.html

The Saloon has recently heard from Maggie Wenzhuo Hou, Director of Friends of Conscience and a friend of Zhu Yufu’s sister, Zhu Xiaoyan.  Through Maggie, Xiaoyan gives some additional details of Zhu’s harsh treatment:

Zhu Yufu’s living condition is really very bad. His food does not have any nutrition and not giving anything like meat or egg. He is not given even minimum standard of nutritious food. in the prison where there are 240 people, there are only 12 shower, and they were told to finish shower within half an hour. So, Zhu Xiaoyan said, one person only got 1.5 minutes of shower time. Zhu Yufu, being old, poor health, and couldn’t even walk steadily, -could never get a chance to compete with the other inmates for shower -which is why during the summer, his whole body had terrible rash and bleeding during hot summer days.

Zhu Yufu, as a prisoner of conscience is treated very badly. He was told to sleep close to the toilette (note that there is no separate bathroom) -several inmates urine in the same toilette -he was intentionally humiliated to sleep in that place;

He was not allowed to any minimal prisoner’s rights. the prison recently announced that, because the prison is overcrowded, they would give medical parole or allow “community service” to release some –people who have illness, and people who are older than 60 etc -both conditions apply to Zhu Yufu. but Zhu Yufu was told that he would not be allowed to register and would not be considered -because he is a political prisoner.

His mental health is in a very difficult situation.

I learned through Maggie that while Zhu Yufu is best known in the West as a poet, writer, he is also a calligrapher and an artist.  Some of his work on fans can be seen at this Chinese-language website:

http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2009/05/200905280339.shtml

The struggle to gain Zhu Yufu his freedom continues.  Here are some things you can do to help:

Let Maggie Wenzhuo Hou know of your support at friends.conscience@gmail.com

Send Zhu Yufu a card.  Select one with a positive image on it—a flower for instance, or a bird or rainbow. A short message in English would be appropriate—“I am thinking of you” or “You are not forgotten” would work.  Nothing complicated or lengthy, and nothing against the Chinese government or any message that could bring him trouble.  Pay attention to colors: red means good fortune and joy; yellow represents good luck; green, health and prosperity.  He may never receive it—but the prison grapevine might bring him word of it. Include your name and return address on the envelope so the authorities know the world-wide breadth of his support. Do not send money and do not expect a response. The international postage will be less than the cost of the card—the US Post Office issues Forever Global stamps for $1.10. The address to use is:

Zhu Yufu

Zhejiang Provincial No.4 Prison

P.O. Box 50, Hangzhou City 311100

Zhejiang Province

P.R. China

Write the Chinese ambassador to your country expressing your request for his release. A source for embassy locations can be found at http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/eng/gjhdq/

Zhu Yufu is just one of hundreds of imprisoned writers around the world. For more information from English PEN, click http://www.englishpen.org/campaigns/international/

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russell-streur1-1Russell Streur is a born-again dissident residing in Johns Creek, Georgia.  His work has been published in Europe, certain islands and the United States.  He operates the world’s original on-line poetry bar, The Camel Saloon, catering to dromedaries, malcontents and jewels of the world at http://thecamelsaloon.blogspot.com/

The Individual – Combating the Norm

Ryerss Vintage Book Sale courtesy of Ryerss Museum and Library

In a society that continues to stress conformity, as opposed to individuality, the arts remain a bastion for individual accomplishment despite efforts to bring everyone in line with a certain school of writing or creativity. Individual thought spurs new ideas, challenges the status quo, questions authority and the flavor of the day. The mimeograph revolution in poetry of the 1960s, to the photocopy age of the 70s and 80s, and the current electronic revolution of the later part of the last century into this have shown poets are resourceful in combating the control of corporate and university publishers in providing poetry to the people. While there are some who condemn the wide range of poetry available today on the internet, one sobering fact remains, poets will not permit the individual nature of the art to be trampled upon.

andrew_wyeth courtesy of andrewwyeth websiteCharles Bukowski

A fine example of an individual remaining true to his art is found in the visual arts, in the person of Andrew Wyeth. Despite the post modernist movement, Wyeth stayed true to himself in his creative portraits and landscapes. Perhaps a lesson he learned from his father, a great illustrator, who attempted to blend into the French modernist movement. Then there is the poet Charles Bukowski, labeled as “the Poet Laureate of the low life.” A sometimes crude, harsh man, Bukowski could also be a gentle poet always writing in what is now known as the Meat Poetry style. He believed if the “big” magazines wouldn’t publish you, go to the “little ones.” Get your work out there for others to read. Today his philosophy lives on through the Outlaw Poets and he continues even in death to outsell the acclaimed poets of his generation.

federico_garcia_lorca1mohammed al-ajamiZhu Yufu

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There is a reason dictators of the right and left imprison writers and artists. The written word and visual arts stimulate independent thought, challenge the senses, and encourage true diversity. The arts resist conformity. If one wants to write with passion or paint the common man or landscape, do it. If one wants to write about or paint obscure objects, do it. If a poet wants to write in form as opposed to free verse, do it. In this age when pressure mounts to conform and to lose individuality, we owe it to those who came before, to those who gave their lives for the art, to remain true to ourselves, following our own inspiration, no matter what anyone says.

g emil reutter– g emil reutter lives and writes in the Fox Chase neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pa. (USA)

A Call To Release Chinese Poet Zhu Yufu

Zhu Yufu

From Russell Streur

Many of you are aware of, and have participated in, the Saloon’s support for the imprisoned Chinese poet, Zhu Yufu.  It has been nearly two years since his arrest and incarceration.  Hopes for a general amnesty of cultural prisoners stemming from the recent change in Chinese leadership appear dim.  Zhu’s birthday is February 13.  To demonstrate a continued support for him, I request that each of you consider one or more of the following actions:

·         Send him a birthday card.  I do not know if Mr. Zhu speaks English or not.  It he does not, someone in the prison block might.  What I suggest is to send him a card with a positive image on it—a flower for instance, or a bird or rainbow.  A short message in English would be appropriate—“I am thinking of you” or “You are not forgotten” would work.  So would a direct “Best wishes on your birthday.”  Nothing complicated or lengthy, and nothing against the Chinese government or any message that could bring him trouble.  He may never receive the card—but the prison grapevine might bring him word of the envelope.  Pay attention to colors:  red means good fortune and joy; yellow represents good luck; green, health and prosperity. Include your name and return address on the envelope so the authorities know the breadth of his support.  Do not send money and do not expect a response.  The international postage will be less than the cost of the card.  At the end of January, the US Post Office will be selling Forever Global stamps for $1.10.  The address is:

Zhu Yufu

Zhejiang Provincial No.4 Prison

P.O. Box 50, Hangzhou City 311100

Zhejiang Province

P.R. China

·         Sign the petition for his freedom at http://freezhuyufu.blogspot.com/.  Many of you have already done this.  I ask everybody to, and to ask your friends to as well.  The petition was delivered to Chinese authorities last year following his conviction; it will be delivered again on this and all subsequent anniversaries of his arrest on  March 4.

·         Write the Chinese ambassador to your country expressing your request for his release. A source for embassy locations can be found here:  http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/eng/wjb/zwjg/2490/

·         Submit a poem in his support in a separate and individual email to me ateditor.camelsaloon@gmail.com.  I will post it at The Bamboo Foresthttp://zhuyufu.blogspot.com/

Zhu Yufu is just one of hundreds of imprisoned writers around the world.  For more information, I recommend visits to these sites:

English PEN http://www.englishpen.org/

EveryOne Group http://everyonegroup.com/EveryOne/MainPage/MainPage.html

He is also just one of thousands of imprisoned Christians in China and around the world.  For more information, I recommend visits to these sites:

China Aid  http://www.chinaaid.org/

Human Rights in China http://www.hrichina.org/

Persecution  International Christian Concern http://www.persecution.org/

Thank you for your support, and all good blessings on your houses,

Russell Streur

Barkeep, The Camel Saloon

Groundskeeper, The Bamboo Forest