Journalist Zhao Yan acquitted of revealing state secrets but convicted of fraudComments Off on Journalist Zhao Yan acquitted of revealing state secrets but convicted of fraud
RAPID ACTION NETWORK
25 August 2006
Update #2 to RAN 43/04
CHINA：Journalist Zhao Yan acquitted of revealing state secrets but convicted of fraud
The Writers in Prison Committee of International PEN welcomes the announcement on 25 August 2006 that the charge of revealing state secrets has been dropped against journalist Zhao Yan， but is seriously concerned at his sentencing to three years in jail for fraud. International PEN demands his immediate and unconditional release pending his likely appeal.
Zhao Yan， news assistant at the Beijing bureau of the New York Times and former reporter for China Reform magazine， was arrested on 17 September 2004 and charged with “providing state secrets to foreigners”. He was charged for an article published in the New York Times on 7 September 2004 revealing Jiang Zemin’s retirement from the position of Chairman of the Central Military Commission and the transfer of leadership to President Hu Jintao. The article preceded the official announcement about Jiang’s retirement， which was made on 19 September 2004. The New York Times said that Zhao had no involvement whatsoever in the article. Although the charges against Zhao were dropped in March 2006， weeks ahead of President Hu Jintao’s visit to the United States， they were reinstated in May 2006. No information has been given about his alleged fraud， but Zhao’s lawyers believe he is likely to appeal the conviction.
Please send appeals：
– Welcoming the dropping of the charge of revealing state secrets against journalist Zhao Yan， but expressing serious concerns that he remains detained；
– calling for his immediate and unconditional release pending his likely appeal.
His Excellency Hu Jintao
President of the People’s Republic of China
Procurator General Mr. Jia Chunwang
Supreme People’s Procuratorate
Beiheyan Street 147
Please note that fax numbers are no longer available for the Chinese authorities， so you may wish to ask the diplomatic representative for China in your country to forward your appeals.
Please copy appeals to the diplomatic representative for China in your country if possible.
For further information please contact Cathy McCann at International PEN Writers in Prison Committee， Brownlow House， 50/51 High Holborn， London WC1V 6ER， Tel.+ 44 （0） 20 7405 0338， Fax： +44 （0） 20 7405 0339， email： firstname.lastname@example.org