20 Jul 2006

International appeal to release Ching Cheong, Journalist Writer Essayist

Click on the link to view the video.

The press conference is a coordinated public appeal for the release of journalist Ching Cheong, the chief China correspondent for Singapore's The Straits Times newspaper. He has been detained in China since April 2005 and is scheduled to be sentenced later this month. He has been accused of spying. A video appeal by his wife will be shown.

Participating cities in the press conference are:
Bonn, Calgary, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Melbourne, New York, Paris, San Francisco/Silicon Valley, Seattle, Toronto.

WHEN: Thursday, July 20, 2006

TIME: Please see each time for each city below or the contacts

WHERE: Please see location below
Bonn, Calgary, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Melbourne, New York, Paris, San Francisco/Silicon Valley, Seattle, Toronto.

CONTACT: removed on request


Association of Humanitarian Lawyers
Committee to Protect Journalists
Hong Kong Alliance for Democracy in China
Hong Kong Forum, Los Angeles
Hong Kong Journalists Association
International Federation of Journalists, IFJ-Asia
Loagai Research Foundation
Magazine New China, Germany
Movement for Democracy in China (Calgary)
Reporters Without Borders/Reporters Sans Frontieres
Silicon Valley for Democracy in China
The Foreign Correspondents Club', Hong Kong
Toronto Associaton for Demoracy in China
Visual Artists Guild
Wei Jingsheng Foundation
Author Mr. Ethan Gutmann,
Members of the New York Press Club,
Nat Hentoff of the Village Voice,
Bernard Stein of the Riverdale Press,
Jay Nordlinger of National Review.

Statement from the International Federation of Journalists
July 19, 2006
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the global organisation representing more than 500,000 journalists in more than 120 countries, is deeply concerned about the plight of Hong Kong journalist Ching Cheong.

Ching is the chief China correspondent for Singapore' s The Straits Times newspaper. He is a Hong Kong citizen, a legal resident of Singapore, and is a well-respected and experienced journalist. According to his wife, in April 2005 Ching went to China to meet a source who was to give him a manuscript about Zhao Ziyang, the former Prime Minister of China who spent 15 years under house arrest following the Tiananmen massacre. On April 22, 2005 Ching was arrested in Guangzhou and placed under a form of detention called "residence under surveillance" in Beijing.

During the first month of Ching's detention, his wife complied with the advice of China's Public Security Bureau and did not go public with any information. Her last conversation with her husband was on May 29, 2005. Because so many of his friends, colleagues and relatives had been inquiring about Ching, his wife finally decided to publicise the information about his detention and on May 30, 2005, the media reported Ching's situation.

On August 5, 106 days after he was first detained, the Beijing State Security Bureau formally charged Ching with spying for Taiwan. Ching faces life imprisonment for > "> endangering national security> "> . Ching has been denied the rights granted to him under the China> '> s Criminal Procedure Code: he has been kept in isolation, denied all legal recourse, and refused access to family members and Strait Times colleagues.

The IFJ and its affiliates continue to demand the dropping of all charges and the speedy release of Ching Cheong.

Press Release by The Foreign Correspondents Club', Hong Kong

Our Mission
Visual Artists Guild is a non-profit organization that champions the right of freedom of speech and expression. Established in May 1985, it holds the belief that the right of freedom of expression is the lifeblood of all artists. Its mission is to bring to the world attention whenever such a right is threatened [or]suppressed.


Anonymous said...

Ching Cheong is a Straits Times correspondent but ST seems to be washing their hands off this case.

Mr Ow

Anonymous said...

If they don't believe in freedom of speech, what you expect them to do is to keep their mouths shut.

Oriental said...

Yes, your comments are right!!!!!

Why is Singapore and the 'chameleon' Straits Times not participating to save their own staff ????????????

True friends are found at times like this. Opportunists and Hypocrites like the Straits Times are also discovered at this times, too!!!!!!!!!!!

Shame on us, when we need others to fight our rights or our staff's freedom. The Strait Times should at least attend and participate (not just shut-up)to show some moral support like any family do for their own kin in a 'criminal' trial.
Why no self-righteous articles or comments from the Chua sisters, and others. It seems no one reads their articles anymore and those of their kind like the editor of the failed free paper (Project EyeBall)Bertha Hanson, of the Straits Times.

Have you read the Straits Times' editorials as if their 'self-righteous' views are so important for us readers and others to know and follow. Complete waste of time.
They have lost all credibility.
Notice their writings are like writing for a General Paper at A-levels. Their standard of news is very low and always outdated and nothing new.

I hope Chin Cheong's family read this and be aware of the true friends.

Talking about values, we have none.
No point crowing about Asian values, etc.. as if other countries do not have them or better than ours.

As is always mentioned, the only thing straight about us is our hair (that too on our head).

Anonymous said...

Of course ching cheong has been spying for singapore. In communist china's eyes the punishment is hanging. so go ahead and hang the bastard.

Anonymous said...

you are ill informed; he was accused of spying for taiwan

what exactly is your problem? you against him, against china, or against singapore?

Anonymous said...

anon, I am against singapore and the straits times for not backing up this chap. and I feel certain the spying for taiwan angle is a smokescreen for the real activities. the singapore government would never admit, he was working for them. so do not be so nieve.

Anonymous said...

you are free to imagine all this; I can imagine he once had a quarrel with you and you are trying to knife him in the back, or you were sacked from ST and want to blacken its reputation...

though he was an SPH employee, he always lived in HK, and was in fact a left wing activist; if I remember correctly, he quit his job with a pro mainland newspaper after June 4

Anonymous said...

anon you are blinkered, a journalist living in hong kong working for the straits times is the perfect spy for singapore government, use your brains. and no i am not a journalist, have never worked for straits times, if I was a journalist I would chose a "newspaper of note" to work for, not as well known government organ and no I do not know the reporter. But there again, I smell you are a singaporean and of course brain washed.

Puzzled but sane said...

If Ching Cheong was a leftist, would he not be a friend of China ?
Taiwan is more rightist, I thought.

Pardon my ignorance.

One thing that is not in dispute by the public is the Straits Times for abandoning its reporter for whatever reason. And it is a newspaper not worth reading and wasting our lives.

ASK AROUND, I can bet that most if not all, would agree that the Straits Times has no credibility.

Notice how they are trying to increase readership and readers' participation by ST107 blogs, and contests,etc..

Notice how they set up ST clubs in schools but these paticipating schools must buy the Straits Times papers ONCE a week.

WHY? Why should schools be used to support a private enterprise? If the Straits Times want to do some real social cause, then give the papers free to the schools in rotation !! Their setting up the ST Clubs was for their own benefit as the top priority. (other benefits to students are purely by the way).

(I know as my sons have to buy the papers, and we use the Edusave, if I remember).

Seriously, if each reader who reads this blog can just ask 5 friends each and ask again:

WHETHER the STRAITS TIMES and its associatesd papers have any CREDIBILITY at all?

And please feedback this basic and simple 'survey' to this blog, we will sincerely know what I and many other Singaporeans already know. (maybe the answer is already an obvious one, as they say it is a 'no-brainer').

Even my sons ridicule about these papers and some reporters who are so preditable. He spent his time getting the news from the Internet.

Good for his sanity.

Anonymous said...

a sacked ST journalist would of course deny he was sacked and ever worked for ST; anyone who disagreed is blinkered, and must also be a sacked ST journalist; it is obvious...

someone who quarreled with Ching Cheong and now trying to knife him in the back would of course deny he ever met Ching Cheong; that is obvious too

one reason PAP is so successful is that its enemies keep barking up the wrong tree; they rant randomly instead of focusing on real shortcomings

Anonymous said...

"PAP....focusing on real shortcomings"

Could the above anon pls enlighten us?

Anonymous said...

the questionable anon is of course an average blinkered singaporean. I have never visited the Island, but follow its sick politics. The spy in question was working for the singapore government. I know a little about the question fo spying from British intelligence activities in the UK. Allowing the chinese to believe the reporter was spying for Taiwan is the perfect way of covering tracks. singaporeans use your brains.l

Anonymous said...

that proves he is a disgrunteld, sacked ST journalist, or an enemy of Ching Cheong, or was one of the guys arrested for promoting falungong recently

see, I can use my brains

Anonymous said...

to the anon further up:

just look at how CSJ destroyed SDP, almost as if he was working for PAP

the anon below you, who must be a caucasian who thinks he knows democracy and freedom, is another example; with enemies like these, PAP needs no friends

student21 said...

The web the above is referring to is stomp, which did not take off to expectation.

It is a poor attempt by ST 2 reach to we youngsters.

we have bettr things 2 do than reading ST and the Chinese 'sexy' papers.

Anonymous said...

you see that was why Ching Cheong was spying for ST, to steal all those sexy secrets from China; that caucasian guy, who was a disgruntled former journalist sacked from ST, had inside information; that's where he had a quarrel with Ching Cheong, and took up falungong as well

now about Chee Soon Juan, the PAP spy who destroyed SDP...

Discerning Consumer said...

About Press Biased Reports/Deliberate Slant:

I thought this will be an interesting extract from an excellent article by Professsor Bradford Delong, Uni of California at Berkeley and former Asst US Treasury Secretary during the Clinton Administration and which was reprinted in the Straits Times (Monday, July 3, 2006) (surprise):

He started off by saying:

"The World is a complex and intricate place....It is a big problem, for the standard sources (of news) that I was taught as a child to rely upon - newspapers and television news - are BREAKING DOWN."

(HE said how the Washington Post MISquoted Dr. Gregory Mankiw, then Chairman of the US President's Council of Economic Adviser when he explained to the reporters about outsourcing and the benefits of creating wealth and expanding world economy. And how the Washington Post's journalists knew that on some level, that they were being unfair to Dr. Mankiw. They knew that they were giving Dr. Mankiw a raw deal by their choice of words.)

He continued,"But the last thing the reporters wanted to do was to convey a thumbnail summary of Dr. Mankiw's analysis of outsourcing. That was simply not the business they saw themselves as being in.

The problem is NOT that The Washington Post and papers like it hire people who are unintellingent or lazy.

The problem is that conveying ACCURATE information about the economy (in this case) is far down the list of priorities for normal news reporters. Making a splash matters......"

He concluded: " WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT THIS? THE ANSWER IS SIMPLE, and it is a matter of DEMAND, NOT SUPPLY. After all, few people go into journalism to deliberately mislead the public.

IF WE DEMAND BETTER economic and political JOURNALISM, the way we demand excellent coverage of the World Cup, WE WILL GET IT."

End of his Article.

This is the crux of what many people have been saying.

Simply put, do not buy the newspapers (whichever - local or foreign or even TV) that do not meet with your perceived standard of journalism.

ie if we want better standards of journalism with balanced reporting.