July 9, 2009 - Updated on January 20, 2016

Demonstration in Paris for release of US journalists held in North Korea

Around three dozen people including Reporters Without Borders activists demonstrated in Paris today for the release of American journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee, who have been held by the North Korean authorities for the past four months. The demonstration was held at the Peace Wall, opposite the Eiffel Tower.

Ling and Lee were in northern China investigating the trafficking of North Korean women across the border when they were arrested on 17 March on the Tumen River, which forms the border between the two countries. A Pyongyang court sentenced them to 12 years in a labour camp on 8 June. Their guide is being held by the Chinese authorities.

During today’s demonstration, photos of the two journalists were hung near the Peace Wall, a monument to harmony between the peoples of the world.

The demonstrators appealed to the North Korean authorities to pardon Ling and Lee, who work for California-based Current TV, and stressed that the ability to do reporting in the field is a basic press right.

Ling and Lee have both suffered a worrying deterioration in their state of health since their arrests. The North Korean authorities must release the journalists and allow them to rejoin their families as quickly as possible

North Korea is one of the hardest countries in the world for the press to cover and the human rights situation there is appalling.

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