Mr. WU Bangguo
Chairman of the Standing Committee of the NPC
People’s Republic of China
1 December 2006
Dear Mr. Wu
Hong Kong veteran journalist and chief China correspondent for Singapore’s Straits Times Ching Cheong’s appeal was rejected by the Beijing Higher People’s Court on 24 November 2006. On top of confirming the original five-year prison term, Ching has been also deprived of his political rights for a year and his personal property worth 300,000 yuan was confiscated. The Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) deeply regrets this conviction. We are also extremely concerned about Mr. Ching’s deteriorating health.
Ching Cheong was tried and sentenced in August this year. Since then renowned academics worldwide have written articles expressing their concerns about the legal arguments behind the conviction. However, the Beijing Higher People’s Court rejected the appeal and decided that the original verdict on Ching Cheong should remain unchanged. Ching’s conviction immediately came under the spotlight of the international media and sparked negative criticisms from foreign communities.
Since the current Judiciary in China consists of two-tier judicial system, the HKJA calls on the Central Government to allow Mr. Ching to serve out his sentence in Guangzhou, where he would be closer to his family, provide him with suitable medical treatment and grant him a medical parole.
The HKJA admires your benevolence, passion and understanding. We therefore look forward to your chivalric assistance in granting Mr. Ching suitable medical treatment for the sake of humanity.
Looking forward to hearing from you soon.
Ms Serenade Woo Lai Wan
Chairperson of the HKJA