Euna Lee & Laura Ling – U.S. Journalists

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As a member of Amnesty International’s Urgent Action Network, I received this email and wanted to share it with readers who would like to take action. The address to use to TAKE ACTION is: http://www.alerts@takeaction.amnestyusa.org>. You will need to type in the women’s names in the upper right hand corner (SEARCH) to get to this particular issue, but there are also other urgent actions on this site that might be of interest.

Below is the complete letter I received:

North Korea’s government sentenced two U.S. journalists on Monday to more than a decade of hard labor in one of the world’s most closed and oppressive prison systems.

Given all we know about the appalling prison conditions in North Korea, we need your help to ensure that the two journalists aren’t forced to serve their sentences. Decades of monitoring and research by Amnesty have revealed that North Korean prisoners are worked beyond exhaustion, often into illness and death.

Guards beat prisoners suspected of lying, not working fast enough or for forgetting the words to patriotic songs. Forms of punishment included forced exercise, sitting without moving for prolonged periods of time and public humiliation.

The global community must send a clear message to Pyongyang that it won’t tolerate the callous decision to turn two innocent U.S. journalists into pawns in a geopolitical chess match.

North Korean authorities have held Laura Ling and Euna Lee in solitary confinement for nearly three months. The two have had limited contact with consular authorities and their families – including Lee’s 4-year-old daughter.

The Obama administration has undertaken a full-court press in recent days, using every instrument in its diplomatic toolkit to persuade the North Korean government to release the journalists.

But other strategically important members of the global community need to step up if they are to be freed.

China is our best hope of seeing Laura and Euna returned to safety. Beijing exerts unmatched influence over the North Korean regime as its staunchest ally, largest trading partner and most important supplier of food and energy. China has succeeded in bringing Pyongyang to the negotiating table, even when all other efforts have failed.

China’s joining in the global chorus condemning North Korea’s cruel actions could be the crucial step needed to free these journalists.

Lend your voice today to our call on China to intervene on behalf of Laura and Euna.

We’ve pulled out all the stops over the past two days to find an email address to send your appeals to, but China clearly doesn’t want to hear what we have to say, and has shut off all publicly known addresses. But they don’t understand that you and I, as members of Amnesty’s global movement, don’t give up so easily.

Sincerely,

Jack Rendler
Country Specialist for North Korea
Amnesty International USA

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