Jun 4, 2009

Trial day for two detained journalists

The trial of Laura Ling and Euna Lee, the Current TV journalists captured and jailed by the North Korean government on charges of illegal entry and unspecified "hostile" act, was scheduled to begin today. They face five years or more of hard labor if convicted. The New York Times reports:

In a brief dispatch early Thursday, the North’s official news organ, the Korean Central News Agency, said that the trial would begin at 3 p.m. (2 a.m. Eastern time on Thursday) in Pyongyang Central Court, the highest court of North Korea. But by Thursday evening, there was no word on whether the trial had begun.

Ms. Ling and Ms. Lee were on a reporting assignment from Current TV, a San Francisco-based media company co-founded by Al Gore, the former vice president, when they were detained by North Korean soldiers on the border between North Korea and China on March 17. The reporters were working on a report about North Korean refugees — women and children — who had fled their impoverished country in hopes of finding food in China. The circumstances surrounding the detention of the two journalists remain unclear.

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