Tuesday, June 30, 1998In advance of the visit to Hong Kong by Chinese President Jiang Zemin, 505 journalists signed a petition to demand the immediate release of mainland journalist Gao Yu. The petition was published in the 30 June edition of the "Apple Daily" newspaper. The HKJA collected 359 signatures from journalists working in Hong Kong and another 146 signatures via electronic mail and fax from journalists all over the world. Moreover, 27 journalists organizations and groups concerned with freedom of expression also showed their support for the petition. Sixteen IFEX member organizations or their representatives were among those signatories (see list, below). The text of the petition follows. WE DEMAND THE IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF GAO YU We are journalists working in Hong Kong. As Chinese President Jiang Zemin is visiting Hong Kong during the first anniversary of the handover, we take this opportunity to demand the immediate release of mainland journalist Gao Yu. Gao Yu was formerly deputy editor of Beijing's "Economic Weekly" and a freelance journalist for newspapers and magazines both in China and Hong Kong. She was sentenced in November 1994 to six years in prison for "leaking state secrets to parties outside mainland China." Gao Yu has been in jail for five years and her health is deteriorating. We hereby demand the immediate release of Gao Yu and many others who were imprisoned solely for exercising their rights to freedom of expression. ARTICLE 19 Canadian Committee to Protect Journalists Committee to Protect Journalists, U.S.A. Freedom House, U.S.A. Greek Helsinki Monitor Human Rights Watch Institute for the Studies on Free Flow of Information, Indonesia International Federation of Journalists, Belgium International PEN Writers in Prison Committee, United Kingdom International Press Institute, Austria Journalist Safety Service, Netherlands Pacific Islands News Association, Fiji PEN Canada Periodistas, the Argentinean Association for the Defence of Independent Journalism Reporters sans frontières, France World Association of Newspapers, France For further information, contact Kin-ming Liu at the Hong Kong Journalists Association, Flat A, 15/F, Henta Commercial Bldg., 348-350 Lockhart Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong, tel: +852 2591 0692, fax: +852 2572 7329, e-mail: [email protected] or [email protected], Internet: www.freeway.org.hk/hkja.
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