Archive for the ‘Hong Kong-based’ Category

Jailed Reporter Accused As Spy By China Is Released

February 5, 2008

HONG KONG – A Hong Kong journalist charged with spying for Taiwan has been released from a prison in mainland China where he was detained for almost two years, the government said Tuesday.

Officials in China notified Hong Kong authorities Tuesday that Ching Cheong had been released on parole, said a Hong Kong government spokesman who declined to be named, citing policy.

Ching, a Hong Kong-based correspondent for Singapore‘s The Straits Times newspaper, was sentenced to five years’ jail in August 2006 on charges of spying for Taiwan. He was detained during a visit to the southern city of Guangzhou in April 2005 and sentenced in a one-day trial 16 months later. A Chinese court rejected his appeal in November 2006.

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Ching Cheong’s release on parole coincided with the jailing of a dissident writer for four years on a charge of inciting subversion over essays he wrote critical of the government.

Dissident writer Lu Gengsong’s jailing also sparked criticism of China’s communist government.

“The pattern of sentencing against dissidents and human rights defenders under politically motivated subversion charges in recent months indicates a deterioration of the overall human rights situation rather than the improvement that the world is expecting from an Olympic host,” Nicholas Bequelin of Human Rights Watch said.

The International PEN, which champions writers’ freedoms, urged President Hu Jintao to free 40 jailed dissident writers, including Ching, ahead of the Summer Olympics.

In an open letter to Hu, the Hong Kong Journalists’ Association said Ching suffered from arrhythmia and recently learned that his health had deteriorated in jail.

A woman surfs the internet on a laptop computer at a wireless ...
A woman surfs the internet on a laptop computer at a wireless cafe in Beijing in January. China on Tuesday sentenced writer and cyber-dissident Lu Gengsong to four years in jail for “inciting subversion of state power,” his lawyer said.(AFP/File/Frederic J Brown)

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