I feel sad and helpless upon hearing the news that Current TV journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling have been sentenced to 12 years hard labor for “hostile acts” by a North Korean court. Lee and Ling have been held by North Korean authorities since March 17th when they were apprehended by North Korean border guards. It is still not clear that Lee and Ling crossed the border into North Korea.
The trial of Lee and Ling began last week on June 4th and foreign observers were not permitted to observe the trial. Unfortunately, it appears that Lee and Ling are being used as bargaining chips in U.S. and North Korea diplomatic relations. According the the Telegraph:
“North Korea’s decision to imprison the women coincided with reports in Washington that the Obama administration was looking at ways to put North Korea back on the list of states that sponsor terrorism, a move that would incur tough sanctions and an arms embargo.”
The Telegraph also reports that the release of prisoners after sentencing is not unheard of in North Korea: “In previous cases, Americans have been sentenced first before negotiations began.”
Let us hope that the Obama Administration and Secretary of State Clinton can still secure the release of Una Lee and Laura Ling.
We must not give up. Please sign the petition for the release of Euna Lee and Laura Ling.
Interview with Lisa Ling at the Los Angeles vigil on June 4rth.
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may
not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.