Australian, US press leaders condemn China’s secret prosecution and detention of TV journalist
Australian, US press leaders condemn China’s secret prosecution and detention of TV journalist

Australian, US press leaders condemn China’s secret prosecution and detention of TV journalist

WASHINGTON, March 30, 2022 / PRNewswire / – US and Australian press executives on Wednesday strongly condemned the ongoing detention and secret prosecution of journalist Cheng Lei, an Australian citizen and mother of two children who was previously a high-profile corporate news anchor on China state-owned television channel CGTN.

Lei, who earlier in his career worked for CNBC, is scheduled to appear before a closed court hearing in Beijing on Thursday, March 31st after serving 19 years in prison. She has been denied contact with her 10-year-old and 12-year-old children. She is being held for questionable charges that have not yet been substantiated with evidence. At present, it is unclear whether Australian consular staff will be allowed to attend the hearing.

The National Press Club (DC) joined the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA) by Australiathe national press club (Australia) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) by calling on the Chinese authorities to conduct a fair, open and public trial for Cheng Lei, who has been accredited by the International Federation of Journalists since 2009.

“MEAA members stand with Cheng Lei. We have called on the Chinese government to show compassion by allowing her to return to Australia and we condemn her arbitrary detention and the secret trial she has undergone, “Federal President of the MEAA Media Section, Karen Percy said.

National Press Club (DC) Chairman Jen Judson and National Press Club Journalism Institute President Gil Klein expressed their deep concern at the lack of a fair trial in Cheng’s case, which has been largely kept secret: “Why have the charges against Mrs Cheng never been explained and why has she been denied access to legal representation? We are calling for her immediate release. “

Cheng Lei is one of many journalists facing jail time and lengthy prison sentences in China over often false accusations as the country is witnessing an increased repression of press freedom. Several Western journalists have been expelled from China.

“We regard the treatment of Cheng Lei as a serious threat to an Australian journalist. We call for her release from detention so that she can return to Australia and her family, “said the president of the National Press Club Laura Tingle.

IFJ Asia Pacific Regional Director, Jane Worthingtonsaid: “We are extremely concerned about the Chinese Government’s unconditional allegations against Cheng Lei and the complete lack of transparency surrounding her detention over the last 19 months. immediately so she can return home to her family in Australia. “

More about the organizations:

That International Federation of Journalists is the global voice of journalists. Founded in 1926, it is the world’s largest organization of journalists, representing 600,000 media professionals in 187 unions and associations in more than 140 countries.

That Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA), founded in 1910, is trade union and trade union for Australian journalists.

Founded in 1963 National Press Club (Australia) is the country’s leading forum for major speeches by political, business and community leaders at headquarters in Canberra. It has consistently argued for freedom of the press.

Founded in 1908 National Press Club (DC) is the world’s leading professional organization for journalists. The club has 3,000 members, representing almost all major news organizations and is a leading voice for press freedom in The United States and around the world.

The National Press Club Journalism Institute, the club’s non-profit affiliate, promotes a committed global citizenship through an independent and free press and equips journalists with the skills and standards to inform the public in ways that inspire civic engagement.


Rachel OswaldChairman of the NPC Press Freedom Team, [email protected]202-662-7500

Emily BeckInternational Federation of Journalists, [email protected]

David CroweNational Press Club (Australia), [email protected]

Mike DobbieHead of Communications – MEAA Media Section, [email protected]

SOURCE National Press Club

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