WASHINGTON, July 28, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Following is a statement by National Press Club President Eileen O’Reilly and National Press Club Journalism Institute President Gil Klein on the trial in Beijing of journalist and former Harvard University Nieman Fellow YuYu Dong on espionage charges Tuesday, July 25 in Beijing.
“We understand the trial of journalist Yuyu Dong took place July 25 in China and there was no verdict after a full day of proceedings. We now expect the verdict September 27.
“We are astonished and outraged to hear that Yuyu faces possible conviction of up to 10 years — a harsh sentence in a case where no laws were broken. We are heartbroken for Yuyu and his family.
“Under Chinese law, the state must prove that Yuyu is part of an espionage organization for a conviction. According to people familiar with the court proceedings, no such evidence was presented. Yuyu is a journalist and journalism is not a crime. The only information presented was that Yuyu received the standard stipends paid to all journalism fellows at a Japanese University and at Harvard.
The prosecution alleged that the stipends were proof that he was a spy, even though the stipends were paid to the fellows by the universities, not the government. In addition, no work or information was exchanged for the stipends, which are meant to defray living expenses. These charges and this alleged evidence are insulting.
The Club notes that Yuyu has been held in isolation for more than a year. Family members including his wife have not been allowed to visit.
We call on China to immediately release Yuyu. Yuyu Dong is a globally respected journalist. Journalism is not a crime.
Founded in 1908, the National Press Club is the world’s leading professional organization for journalists. With 3,000 members representing nearly every major journalism organization, the Club is a leading voice for press freedom worldwide.
The National Press Club Journalism Institute promotes an engaged global citizenry through an independent and free press and equips journalists with the skills and standards to inform the public. The Institute is the non-profit arm of the National Press Club.
Contact: Bill McCarren, 202-662-7534 for the National Press Club
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SOURCE National Press Club