American journalists Euna Leeand Laura Ling have been imprisoned for almost three months in North Korea. They were sentenced to 12 years hard labor for “grave” crimes against the North Korean government and other unspecified acts.
Allegedly, these two journalists crossed the border into North Korea. They were detained. Do we really know they violated that North Korean law or are we to just accept the word of the North Korean government? I don't think so. The trial of both women was closed to the public so there is little to know about the legal proceedings they were subjected to.
Journalism can be dangerous.
Euna Lee and Laura Ling work for Los Angeles-based Current TV and were reporting on human trafficking by North Korean leader Kim Jong Il’s regime. Reporters in general, especially from Current TV, are annoyances for repressive regimes.
It is likely these women are pawns in Kim’s strategy to name his son Kim Jong Un the next leader of North Korea when Il steps down. Kim Jong Il is creating drama with his unsanctioned nuclear missile testing and now the harsh sentencing of Lee and Ling. North Korean labor camps are infamous for life-threatening conditions.
What can you do to help these two journalists? Please sign the petition demanding their release and ask your friends or even your enemies to sign it also. But as you show your support for the release of Laura Ling and Euna Lee, it’s important to know that the Committee to Protect Journalists reports more than 100 journalists imprisoned around the world. Yeah, more than 100. Where is the public outcry for the release of those journalists also?
I could go on and on about the important contribution journalists have made in exposing injustice in this country and others. Some journalists have lost lives and property while keeping us informed.
Even if Euna Lee and Lisa Ling really did cross the North Korean border, how can anyone think a 12 year sentence could be justified?
Sign the petition to free Lee and Ling but do not forget the other journalists suffering in prisons around the world.
Photo: Bullit Marquez / Associated Press