Clattery MacHinery on Poetry

June 3, 2006

Damned Freaking Poets!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Clattery MacHinery @ 9:35 pm

Shi Tao: Read the e-mail that got poet Shi Tao a ten-year forced-labor prison sentence: IPFA 2005. Read the sentence: Reporters Without Borders. His case is current, and involves Yahoo, which threw him under the bus to the Chinese authorities. This story is in the news now: “Shi Tao” Google News search. Here’s something you can do about it: Amnesty International.


Fesshaye “Joshua” Yohannes: Imprisoned in Eritrea since 2001, Joshua “staged a hunger strike in May with nine other colleagues in hopes of spurring their release. Instead, government officials transferred the journalists to an undisclosed location—and no one has heard from them since” ( If he is still alive, he and those arrested with him are most likely being “held in metal containers inside military camps” (Reporters Without Borders). His plight is current in the news here: Sudan Tribune. The conditions in Eritrea prisons are “extremely harsh”: Amnesty International. What can be done for Joshua?


Nurmuhemmet Yasin. Read a translation of “Wild Pigeon: A Uyghur Fable” which poet Nurmuhemmet Yasin wrote, and that got him a ten-year prison sentence: Radio Free Asia. Read also Nurmuhemmet’s essay “What Is Love?”: RFA. Read how he was given a “closed-door trial without a lawyer”: RFA. Read how his arrest and imprisonment is part of China’s war on terrorism here (where there is more on Shi Tao): Human Rights Watch. What you can do for Nurmuhemmet: International PEN (scroll down).


Here is International PEN’s case list through December 2005 of Writers in Prison, in pdf: WiPC Caselist July to December 2005. A new one should be coming out at the end of the month. After you download the pdf file, you can search through the document for “poet”.


  1. I can’t imagine a country that would torture people for years, lock them away into tiny cells, move them to undisclosed locations, and never try or convict them in an open court of law.

    I’m glad WE don’t do that in the US.

    Comment by Carl Bryant — June 4, 2006 @ 12:31 am

  2. Hi Carl,

    Of couse, there is the very recent case of Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost: Boston Globe.


    Comment by Bud Bloom — June 4, 2006 @ 12:42 am

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