The Dalian Intermediate People’s Court has commuted the remainder of the sentence of the journalist Jiang Weiping, and he was released from Nanguanling Prison in Dalian earlier today, January 3, 2006.
Jiang Weiping was originally sentenced to eight years in prison for illegally supplying state secrets and inciting subversion on January 21, 2002. The sentence was to have run from January 4, 2001 to January 3, 2009. In March 2003, the Liaoning Intermediate People’s Court reduced the sentence on appeal to six years. The sentence was to have expired on January 3, 2007.
Jiang returned home for a meal with his family, with whom he will be staying. Because the sentence was commuted (i.e,. he was not granted parole), Jiang may apply for a passport to join his wife and daughter in Canada. His political rights remain suspended until January 3, 2009, but this is not an impediment, under Chinese law, to his being granted a passport.
Jiang, one of China’s best known investigative journalists, was sentenced to prison after writing articles about corruption in northeast China. His imprisonment was met with an international outcry led by human rights groups, notably the Committee to Protect Journalists, PEN, and Reporters sans frontières, and his name was on the lists of “cases of concern” of virtually all foreign governments that have human rights dialogues with China. The American ambassador to China Clark Randt raised his name in all his public speeches in 2002 and 2003. With the exception of the Catholic cleric Su Zhimin, who remains under house arrest, all those mentioned in Randt’s speeches in 2002 and 2003 have now been granted early release.
The Dui Hua Foundation welcomes the release of Jiang Weiping and hopes that the public security bureau will give favorable consideration to an application for a passport so that Jiang can join his wife and daughter abroad.
The Dui Hua Foundation
January 3, 2006