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World's Press to China: Free Jailed Journalists

(July 18, 2006)The World Association of Newspapers and World Editors Forum have called on the Chinese government to free a journalist who was jailed for two years for publishing an essay on democracy and freedom.

In a letter to Premier Wen Jiabao, the Paris-based organisations also said they were concerned over the recent deterioration of press freedom in China,where at least 32 journalists and 51 "cyber-dissidents" are currently imprisoned.

The latest is Li Yuanlong, a journalist with the Bijie Daily in Guizhou province, who was convicted of "inciting subversion of state sovereignty"and sentenced to two years in prison after he posted essays on overseas websites banned in China. One of the essays, entitled "On Becoming an American in Spirit," expressed the desire for democracy and freedom. Mr Li also reported on the plight of marginalised farmers and the unemployed.

Read the full letter to Premier Wen athttp://www.wan-press.org/article11432.html .

Other WAN press freedom protests at http://www.wan-press.org/protests.php3 .

The Paris-based WAN, the global organisation for the newspaper industry,defends and promotes press freedom world-wide. It represents 18,000 newspapers; its membership includes 73 national newspaper associations, newspapers and newspaper executives in 102 countries, 11 news agencies and nine regional and world-wide press groups. (boxun.com)

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