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CHINA ANNOUNCES IMMINENT RELEASE OF SOUTH KOREAN JOURNALIST

New York, March 18, 2004—The Chinese government today announced that South Korean freelance photographer Jae Hyun Seok will be released from prison tomorrow, March 19. Seok is serving a two-year prison term on charges of human trafficking.

In responding to a reporter’s question at a press briefing today, Foreign Affairs Ministry Spokesman Kong Quan confirmed that Seok would be released early on March 19.

Seok, who works regularly for The New York Times and other publications, was arrested on January 17, 2003, while photographing North Korean refugees in Yantai, Shandong Province, China, as they tried to board two fishing boats bound for South Korea and Japan. On May 22, 2003, a Yantai court sentenced Seok to two years in prison.

For more information about Seok’s case, see the July 9, 2003, protest letter and the December 23, 2003 news alert.



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