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Journalist Sophia Huang Xueqin sentenced to five years in China for subversion

 JournalismPakistan.com |  Published June 15, 2024

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Journalist Sophia Huang Xueqin sentenced to five years in China for subversion

TAIPEI—The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has strongly condemned the Chinese court's decision on Friday to sentence journalist Sophia Huang Xueqin to five years in prison on charges of "inciting subversion of state power."

The Intermediate People's Court in Guangzhou delivered the sentence to Huang, renowned for her courageous reporting on sexual abuse in China after she spent nearly 1,000 days in detention. Friends of Huang, speaking anonymously due to fear of retaliation, informed CPJ that she plans to appeal the verdict.

"The harsh and unjust sentencing of journalist Sophia Huang Xueqin shows how insecure the Chinese government is when it comes to factual reporting," said Iris Hsu, CPJ's China representative. "Chinese authorities must drop all charges against Huang and release her immediately."

Huang and her friend, labor activist Wang Jianbing, were detained by police on September 19, 2021, en route to the Guangzhou airport. Wang was also sentenced on Friday to three and a half years in prison for inciting subversion.

At the time of their arrest, Huang was on her way to Shenzhen and then to Britain to begin a master's degree program. Both Huang and Wang have been held incommunicado since their detention.

The indictment, shared on X (formerly Twitter) by supporters at the start of the trial on September 22, 2023, accuses Huang of publishing distorted and inflammatory articles against the Chinese government, publicly attacking and smearing Chinese authorities during a foreign virtual media conference, participating in subversive courses, and organizing online sessions that incited dissatisfaction within China.

CPJ reached out to the Guangzhou Public Security Bureau for comment but did not receive a response.—A CPJ Statement/Photo: Courtesy of Free Huang XueQin & Wang JianBing campaign group

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