UPDATE: Euna Lee and Laura Ling Pardoned and Released
The two American journalists, Euna Lee and Laura Ling, were detained by North Korean authorities on March 17th, 2009 for illegally entering the country. The world was shocked when, in June, they were each sentenced to 12 years of hard labor. Thanks to an immense international outcry and high-level diplomacy, both journalists were pardoned by North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and released home to their families.
Thank you to everyone who signed the petition to free Euna Lee and Laura Ling. In demanding fair and humane treatment of the two women and calling for their safe return home, your voices were essential to this important humanitarian and human rights victory!
On March 17th, Euna Lee and Laura Ling (sister to CNN correspondent Lisa Ling), were taken into custody by the North Korean military. The two women, American journalists for Al Gore's San Francisco-based Current TV, were reporting on the trafficking of women along the border with China and North Korea on what was intended to be a two-day assignment.
Euna and Laura have since been charged with illegally crossing into the country and engaging in "hostile acts." Their trial is set for June 4, 2009, in Pyongyang, and if found guilty, could be sentenced to up to ten years in jail.
After months of no contact between the women and their families in the US, Lisa Ling received a brief and pressing phone call from her sister Laura indicating that she and Euna were being treated fairly, but that the only solution to their situation would be for the two countries to find a way to communicate. Lisa Ling has since pled publically for the US and North Korea to be able to put this grave humanitarian issue above the diplomatic divide that stands between the two countries.
As the trial and future of Euna and Laura loom ahead, we call on the government of North Korea to release the women on humanitarian grounds, and for as many people as possible to stand up and demand they be justly let go. The friends and family of these women are waiting for Euna and Laura to be safely returned home. By signing the below petition, you'll show your support for Euna and Laura's direct and immediate release.