Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2003/07/02

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Subject: RE: [Leica] Documentary Photography 2003
From: George Lottermoser <>
Date: Wed, 2 Jul 2003 11:22:41 -0500

saganicc@MSKCC.ORG (Saganich, Christopher/Medical Physics)7/2/03

>The caveat is that you could be arrested for no good reason and detained 
>indefinitely until your crime can be clarified.  Sorry I'm going off 

Subject: Photojournalist Imprisoned in China
   (Please forward this to anyone who might be interested)
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
I'm writing this letter to tell you about a friend of mine who is
currently in jail in China.  His name is Seok, Jae-hyun, a South 
Korean photojournalist, and he was recently sentenced to two years for
covering the story of North Korean refugees in that country.  Because both 
North Korea and China are embarrassed by their treatment of these 
refugees, they have tried to censor the coverage of the situation.  It seems 
the length of this sentence--which is unusual for a foreign national--is
meant to intimidate journalists and keep them from covering this story.  
Forty journalists are currently in Chinese prisons, thirty-nine are
Chinese, only one is from another country. 
Jae is a freelance photojournalist and a regular contributor to the 
New York Times and Geo.  Because he is a freelancer he has no 
institutional support and the Chinese government does not recognize his status as 
a journalist.
Jae's best hope is a major public outcry.  In 1999 freelance
photographer Tyler Hicks was arrested while shooting a story in
Chechnya.  His situation was covered in the international news and 
he was freed after only two nights.  Jae has already been in prison for
over five months.
June 23rd is the date set for Jae's appeal.  If the Chinese 
Government understands that there is international outrage, it is possible the
case will be thrown out.  The aim of the arrest was to quiet interest in 
the North Korean refugee situation.  And if by arresting Jae they call 
more attention to the story, their tactic will have backfired and they 
may think twice before jailing another foreign journalist.
Please help me in this effort.  As I'm sure you know, the wellbeing 
of journalists is extremely important to the integrity of news reporting. 
Jae has been put in jail for covering a story of international
importance, he is being persecuted by a government that censers its 
own journalists and is now imprisoning foreign reporters.
What I'm asking you to do is simply e-mail the Chinese Embassy in
Washington.  I also ask you to e-mail major US media outlets, alert
them to the story, and tell them how important it is that they give this
story the coverage it deserves.  All the information you need is 
below; it will only take a few minutes to make a difference.
Thank you in advance for your time and effort, for my friend and for
the integrity of journalistic freedom.  If you wish to read the story of
Jae's arrest, please go the following web page where I've placed 
links to some articles and other information.
Ken Marchionno

To the Chinese Ambassador: <mailto:>
(If you don't want to write something yourself, just click on the
address above, paste the following into the body, and sign your name.)
Dear Ambassador Yang Jiechi,
I am writing to express my outrage over the imprisonment of South
Korean photojournalist Seok, Jae-hyun, and to request his immediate release.. 
His arrest was in direct violation of international law.
Mr. Seok is a well respected photojournalist who regularly 
contributes to the New York Times and Geo.  As a journalist his rights under
international law are covered in Article 19 of the United Nations
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states:
"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right
includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek,
receive and impart information and ideas through any media and
regardless of frontiers."
China, as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council,
should be aware that the arrest and detention of Seok, Jae-Hyun, who
was trying to "seek, receive and impart information " regarding North
Korean refugees, is a direct violation of Article 19 of The Universal
Declaration of Human Rights and of international law.
I join in the international call for Seok Jae-Hyun's immediate and
unconditional release and request your attention and consideration 
onthis urgent matter.

To the Media:
(paste the following into the body, and sign your name)

This letter is in reference to Seok, Jae-hyun, a South Korean 
photojournalist being held in a Chinese prison for photographing 
the plight of North Korean refugees.  I am concerned with the integrity 
of news reporting when journalists must fear imprisonment for doing 
their job.  Please cover this story so that the world will know of 
this situation and so that Chinese government will understand that 
imprisoning foreign journalists will only cause greater interest in 
a story they wish to censor.  For further information, please contact 
Ken Marchionno at:

Fond regards,

G e o r g e   L o t t e r m o s e r,    imagist

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