March 18, 2003, New York—Journalist Jiang Weiping, a recipient of the Committee to Protect Journalist’s (CPJ) 2001 International Press Freedom Award, has had his prison sentence reduced by two years. He could now be eligible for parole in January 2004.
In January 2002, the Dalian Intermediate Court sentenced Jiang to eight years in prison on charges of revealing state secrets and inciting to subvert state power. Jiang, a former reporter for the Hong Kongbased newspaper Wen Hui Bao, was arrested in December 2000 after writing a series of articles revealing local corruption scandals. (For more background about Jiang’s case, please see: http://www.cpj.org/attacks02/china_imprisoned_02.html)
Jiang immediately appealed his sentence to the Liaoning Province Higher People’s Court. On December 26, 2002, the court heard the appeal and, while upholding Jiang’s guilty verdict, reduced his sentence to six years, according to the California-based Dui Hua Foundation, which has been in direct contact with the Chinese government about the case. A court official told The Associated Press that, “We just thought that his criminal records were not as serious as previously concluded.”
“Jiang Weiping has already spent two and a half years in prison for crimes he didn’t commit. He should be freed immediately and unconditionally,” said CPJ acting director Joel Simon. “His continued detention makes a mockery of justice.”