Journalist Huang Qi was sentenced to 12 years in prison Monday despite his critical health condition. Fred Dufour/AFP
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on Chinese President Xi Jinping to pardon journalist Huang Qi, two-time RSF Press Freedom Prize laureate, who was sentenced to 12 years in prison Monday despite his critical health condition.
The Mianyang Intermediate People’s Court in Sichuan Province sentenced Chinese investigative journalist Huang Qi, 56, to 12 years in prison for leaking state secrets and providing state secrets abroad, which was preceded by a 2-year detention and a closed trial Jan. 14.
“This decision is equivalent to a death sentence, considering Huang Qi’s health has already deteriorated from a decade spent in harsh confinement,” says Christophe Deloire, the Secretary-General of Reporters Without Borders (RSF), who urges President Xi Jinping “to show mercy by exercising his power to pardon, so that Huang Qi can be released before it is too late.”
In a statement published on December 20th by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), following a petition by RSF, four UN human rights experts called for his release. The document noted that the jailed Chinese journalist was in a dire health condition that would “continue to deteriorate to a fatal point” if he stayed in detention, where he suffered from ill treatment and lack of appropriate medical care.