For Immediate Release:
Dave Aeikens, SPJ President, (320) 255-8744,
Karen Grabowski, SPJ Communications Coordinator, (317) 927-8000 ext. 215, firstname.lastname@example.org
INDIANAPOLIS – The Society of Professional Journalists is pleased with the pardon and release of journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling by the North Korean government.
Former President Bill Clinton arrived in North Korea today, Tuesday, Aug. 4, to negotiate the release of Lee and Ling who had been imprisoned since March. North Korea’s official news agency broke the news today that leader Kim Jong II pardoned and ordered the release of the journalists after meeting with Clinton for negotiations.
“This is great news that these two American journalists have been released,” SPJ President Dave Aeikens said. “We are sorry it took so long for North Korea to do the right thing and we are grateful to former President Clinton for his involvement.”
In June, the journalists were sentenced to 12 years of hard labor for allegedly entering the country illegally and engaging in “hostile acts.” Lee and Ling work for San Francisco-based Current TV and were detained while filming a documentary near the China-North Korea border. Mixed reports surfaced shortly after their detainment on the details of their arrest.
SPJ has been closely following this story since Lee and Ling were imprisoned and actively voiced demands for their release. To read previous SPJ releases, click here.
Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. For more information about SPJ, please visit http://www.spj.org.