For Immediate Release
24 November 2006
Anger over rejection of Ching Cheong’s appeal
The Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) is furiously angry over the Beijing Higher People’s Court’s rejection of veteran Hong Kong journalist and chief China correspondent for Singapore’s Straits Times Ching Cheong’s appeal and its confirmation of his original five-year prison term for alleged espionage.
1.) The whole appeal process lacked transparency. The whole process was, once again, a violation of the fair, just, and open principles for trial as stipulated in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR);
2.) As a nation that signed the ICCPR, the PRC Government did not live up to its responsibilities of implementing the principles set out in the ICCPR as mentioned above;
3.) Ching Cheong’s case will have a chilling effect on journalists and increase self-censorship. It damages freedom of press and deprive the public of its rights to information.
The HKJA appeals to the related department in the PRC government to grant Ching Cheong a medical parole as soon as possible for the sake of humanity and so that he can receive a thorough medical treatment from qualified personnel to improve his currently poor health.
Ms. Serenade Woo