China Frees Journalist Ahead of Lunar New Year, Jails Activist

From Radio Free Asia – 06 02 2008

“HONG KONG-Chinese authorities have freed a Hong Kong-based journalist jailed for almost three years on spying charges in time for the Lunar New Year celebrations, but also sentenced a pro-democracy activist to prison.

Ching Cheong, formerly chief China correspondent for Singapore’s Straits Times newspaper, was handed a five-year jail term by a Guangdong court in August 2006 for spying for Taiwan. He had been held previously for some 16 months and has recently been described as suffering from poor health.

A court in the southern Chinese city of Hangzhou meanwhile sentenced Lu Gengsong, a democracy activist, to four years’ imprisonment for “inciting subversion of state power.”

Authorities have also approved the arrest on subversion charges of the AIDS activist Hu Jia, now detained for more than a month, and again barred supporters from visiting his wife and infant daughter, who are welcoming the Lunar Year of the Rat under house arrest at their Beijing home.” [continues…]

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