IFJ renews calls for Zhao Yan’s release after all charges were dropped

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is deeply concerned that New York Times researcher Zhao Yan remains in jail despite the dropping of all charges against him on March 17.

According to Zhao's defense lawyer, Mo Shaoping, prosecutors have not responded to two requests to release Zhao. Zhao is being held illegally since the Beijing intermediate people’s court No.2 announced the charge of revealing state secrets had been dropped.

“The Chinese Government’s continued unlawful detention of Zhao Yan shows the government’s inconsiderate attitude toward due process and the rule of law,” said IFJ president, Chris Warren.

Zhao was a news assistant at the Beijing bureau of the New York Times and former reporter for China Reform magazine. Zhao was arrested on September 17, 2004 for allegedly ‘divulging state secraets’ and ‘fraud’, and was falsely accused of having exposed the political retirement of Jiang Zemin to his newspaper before the official announcement.

Zhao is among 32 or so journalists currently behind bars, leaving China as the world’s leading jailer of journalists.

”We are calling for the immediate release of Zhao Yan” said Warren.

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific +61 2 9333 0919

The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 110 countries