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Hon. Benjamin L. Cardin, Chairman
Hon. Alcee L. Hastings, Co-Chairman
For Immediate Release
June 8, 2009


WASHINGTON—Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) and Co-Chairman Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) issued the following statements in response to the sentencing of U.S. journalists in North Korea.

“I join the calls of those around the civilized world for the immediate release by North Korea of two American journalists, Laura Ling and Euna Lee. Respected human rights organizations have termed their conviction the result of a ‘sham trial’ which reflects the systematic disregard for human rights and due process in North Korea,” Chairman Cardin said. “I am deeply concerned for the safety and well-being of Ms. Ling and Ms. Lee, given the severity of the sentence and the notorious conditions that North Korea inflicts on its prisoners. I will work with the Obama Administration to ensure their swift and unconditional release.”

Co-Chairman Hastings added: “The North Koreans should immediately release Laura Ling and Euna Lee. The harsh sentence which they have received shows the contempt the North Korean government has for basic human rights and freedom. I have a deep concern for the lack of due process afforded these women in this case and stand ready to help in any way possible to help secure the release of these women back to their families.”

Media Contact: Neil Simon
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