Dear President Hu,
Open Letter to President Hu Jintao:
Ching Cheong’s Health Deteriorates
HKJA Urges Release under Medical Parole
Hong Kong senior reporter, Chief China Correspondent for Singapore’s Straits Times Mr. Ching Cheong’s appeal against conviction for alleged spying was overruled by the Beijing High People’s Court last November 24. Mr. Ching Cheong was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment, stripped of his political rights for a year and personal property amounting to three hundred thousand Renminbi confiscated. At present Mr. Ching Cheong is serving his sentence in Guangdong.
Mr. Ching Cheong was arrested in 4 April 2004 for allegedly disclosing state secrets. It took more than two years before he was prosecuted. However the meaning of ‘state secret’ has never been defined under the Chinese law. Therefore this sentence does raise doubts internationally.
Mr. Ching Cheong has been suffering from arrhythmia. Recently HKJA learned that his illness has deteriorated rapidly in jail. Irregular heartbeat occurs daily now. The Chinese herbal medicine which he is taking constantly keeps his blood vessels from dilating, a condition which will cause further problems later.
In addition doctor has also found polyps in Mr. Ching Cheong’s intestine. This problem has not been taken care of. These polyps may become cancerous in few years time, thereby endangering his life.
Hong Kong Journalists Association