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North Korea Sentences American Journalists

North Korea officials sentenced American journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling to 12 years of hard labor on Monday. The women were working for Current TV along the China-North Korea border when they were taken by North Korean government officials. They have been in jail since March.

Numerous journalist advocacy organizations have called for their release, including Reporters Without Borders and the International Women’s Media Foundation and Amnesty International.

According to a statement from Reporters Without Borders:

“These 12-year sentences are a terrible shock for all those who have repeatedly insisted on their innocence,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The sentences are much more severe than anything we had imagined. The authorities in Pyongyang must urgently reverse this decision and allow Ling and Lee to rejoin their families.”

The sentences were clearly designed to scare journalists trying to do investigative reporting in the border area between China and North Korea, which is ranked as Asia’s worst country in the Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.”

 

Author

Genevieve Belmaker

Genevieve Belmaker is a freelance journalist and contributing editor with The Epoch Times (www.theepochtimes.com). She also contributes to Quill, the magazine of the Society of Professional Journalists and Poynter.org. Her blog on journalism is http://artofreportage.com.

Genevieve has traveled throughout the U.S., Asia, Central America, Israel and the West Bank for reporting assignments, including major investigative reports on the recovery of New Orleans, the encroaching presence of China in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, the dangerous import of melamine-contaminated milk into the U.S. and settlement outposts in the West Bank. She regularly reports on issues related to journalism, and the work of journalists.

She holds a BA from the University of Southern California in International Relations, and has been a member of several prominent national and international professional media organizations, including the Society of Professional Journalists, Investigative Reporters and Editors, the International Women’s Media Foundation, the New York Press Club, and the Newswomen’s Club of New York. She lives in Jerusalem, Israel with her husband and son.

Areas of Focus:
New Media; Journalism; Culture and Society

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