China: CPJ Welcomes Release of Investigative Journalist Jailed Since 1998
December 12, 2006 12:00 PM ET
New York, December 12, 2006--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the early release of investigative reporter Gao Qinrong, who served eight years of a 12-year prison sentence for his reporting on a corrupt irrigation scheme in northern China's Shanxi Province.
"The long imprisonment of Gao Qinrong is a horrible reminder that even those journalists who work within the rules of China's state-controlled media system are at risk of extreme reprisal for good investigative reporting," said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. "We are relieved that Gao has finally been released, but cannot forget the many other Chinese journalists who remain behind bars."
Gao, who worked for the official Xinhua News Agency, reported on an irrigation scandal but the agency did not publish his article. Instead, his expose was carried in May 1998 in an internal edition of People's Daily, distributed only among Party leaders. But when the news was picked up by other national media outlets, officials blamed Gao, his wife told reporters at the time.
Gao was arrested on December 4, 1998 and eventually charged with crimes including bribery, embezzlement and pimping. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison in April 1999 after a closed one-day trial.
Despite receiving the support in March 2001 of several members of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference of the National People's Congress, China's legislature, who issued a motion urging the Supreme People's Court to reopen his case, Gao served two-thirds of his harsh original sentence.
Gao said today that he was happy to be joining his wife and daughter, but also angry, according to Agence France-Presse. He said he hoped to officially clear his name.
"I plan to appeal ... but I think this anti-corruption issue is very difficult. My hopes are dim but I will continue struggling," he said. Gao said that because his jailers knew that he was innocent, he was treated well in jail.
At least 30 other journalists remain behind bars in China, according to CPJ research. Among those, several were imprisoned after their news outlets ran reports on local official wrongdoing. Nanfang Dushi Bao (Southern Metropolis News) editors Li Minying and Yu Huafeng are serving sentences of six and eight years, respectively, after their newspaper became the target of a government crackdown. The two were detained in 2003 less than a month after Nanfang Dushi Bao reported a new case of the deadly SARS virus, and shortly after the paper reported the death in police custody of a young graphic designer, which led to changes in national laws.
China arrests Uighur editor, newspaper directors for being 'two-faced'
September 7, 2018 12:15 PM ET
Taipei, September 7, 2018--Chinese authorities should immediately release Ilham Weli, Xinjiang Daily's deputy editor-in-chief, Memtimin Obul and Juret Haji, directors at the newspaper, and Mirkamil Ablimit, the head of the newspaper's subsidiary Xinjiang Farmer's Daily, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today....
Chinese police arrest critical blogger Chen Jieren
July 11, 2018 10:32 AM ET
Taipei, July 11, 2018--The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on Chinese authorities to immediately release Chen Jieren, an independent blogger who frequently published articles critical of the Communist Party officials on his blog, Jieren Guancha (Jieren Watch)....
World Health Organization blocks Taiwanese outlets from attending annual assembly
May 25, 2018 1:46 PM ET
Taipei, May 25, 2018--The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply troubled by the World Health Organization's decision to deny Taiwanese media outlets press accreditation to its annual decision-making function, the World Health Assembly, which started on May 21....
Taipei, May 16, 2018--The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on Chinese authorities to stop harassing and detaining journalists and to explain why they detained and injured a cameraperson reporting on a human rights lawyer's court hearing....
Hong Kong journalist beaten covering 10-year anniversary of Sichuan earthquake
May 15, 2018 10:29 AM ET
Taipei, May 15, 2018--Chinese authorities must investigate and bring to justice those responsible for an attack on i-Cable TV reporter Chan Ho-fai in Sichuan Province, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today....