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WAN, WEF Protest Against Jailing of Chinese Journalist

(Oct. 18, 2006)

The World Association of Newspapers and World Editors Forum have protested to the Chinese government against the jailing of a journalist who posted sensitive political essays on the internet.

In a letter to Premier Wen Jiabao, the Paris-based WAN and WEF, the global associations of the world's press, called on China to release all jailed journalists and to respect international standards of freedom of expression.

Journalist Guo Qizhen was sentenced to four years in prison and jailed on 17 October for "subverting state sovereignty" after he posted articles critical of the government on overseas websites. Subversion is a charge that is frequently used to silence dissidents in China.

"We are seriously concerned at the government's ongoing crackdown on dissent," said the letter from WAN and WEF. "According to reports, about 50 cyber-dissidents and 30 journalists are currently imprisoned in China."

These include Hong Kong journalist Ching Cheong, who was sentenced in August to five years in prison for spying for Taiwan, Zhao Yan, a Chinese researcher for the New York Times, who was sentenced to three years in jail for fraud, and Li Yuanlong, a journalist with the Bijie Daily newspaper in Guizhou, who was convicted of "inciting subversion of state sovereignty"on 13 July and sentenced to two years in prison.

Read the full letter at http://www.wan-press.org/article12187.html

More press freedom protests can be found at

http://www.wan-press.org/protests.php3 . (boxun.com)

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