15 Aug 2006

China to try Singaporean journalist on Tuesday

4.20pm Monday August 14, 2006

BEIJING - A Singapore reporter accused by China of spying for Taiwan is likely to be tried on Tuesday, a Hong Kong-based rights group has said.

Ching Cheong, a Hong Kong-based China correspondent for Singapore's Straits Times, was detained on a visit to the mainland in April 2005 and later charged with espionage for Taiwan - the self-ruled island that rejects Beijing's claims of sovereignty.

Ching's family and the newspaper have rejected the charges and called for his release.

The Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy cited an unnamed Beijing prosecutor as saying Ching would be tried on Tuesday.

Ching's case is one of several that have highlighted China's harsh controls on the media and the flow of information.

Zhao Yan, a New York Times researcher accused of providing state secrets to foreigners, remains in detention awaiting a verdict in his case.

And a Beijing academic, Lu Jianhua, is also likely to be tried this week in connection with Ching, the Information Centre said.

On Friday, a court in east China's Zhejiang province sentenced an environmental activist, Tan Kai, to a year and a half in prison for "illegally obtaining state secrets", Radio Free Asia reported.

Last year, Tan helped farmers in Zhejiang protest against factory pollution threatening their crops and health.



yuen said...

he is not singaporean but born and raised in HK; he was with a pro mainland paper but left after June 4 and later became an ST employee, but was always based in HK; you can look him up in Wikipedia

WKT said...

Ching was under the employment of our Straits Times.

YET, there is NO news whether ST had sent their representatives or their lawyers to attend the trial.

IS it a case of dropping the hot potato ?

Anonymous said...

if he was secretly working for taiwan, there is no obligation on the part of ST to protect him

however, if that is just a pretext and china is persecuting him for things he wrote in ST, then there is; the issue is whom he was loyal to

WKT said...

But ST could at least send a representative to the court. (not to get a defense lawyer,unless it has something to do with his reports in the ST).

I wonder whether there are other journalists in our stable who are working with foreign countries.

Are some trips overseas (to cover news or even TV documentaries - esp political documentaries) funded by foreign countries and their emabassies ?

I am not too sure.

Seph said...

LOL news just out in 3rd page of ST Aug 16

Capt_Canuck said...

I dont get it. What is all the fuss and hoopla about? I mean, not that the guy might be tried and punished in China, but what exactly does Singapore care? I mean, I have loads of singaporean friends who during the execution of Nguyen in Dec 2005 when the Australians were all hounding for leniency, all were screaming for people to butt out of Singaporean law, to leave Singapore alone, they knew what they were doing and to, as my fiancee said, "hurry up and hang him to get it over with". No question was being asked as to how Nguyen's rights were treated, how the trial happened or even anything else.

So, if people are supposed to stay out of Singaporean affairs, leave all the problems in Singapore to the Singaporeans to deal with in their own judicial fashion, then why should a Singaporean (or any other person in the world) stand up and start screaming at another country when a Singaporean (either immigrant, citizen, or employee of a singaporean company) is arrested and tried.

Obviously the population in China has no objection to this man being held since there are no riots in the streets, the country hasnt burned down in flames or mass anarchy in the streets. So I guess that means that it is acceptable in China and therefore everyone should just accept what happens and be happy that the offended country is doing what is right in their country.