A Beijing-based news researcher for The New York Times and cutting-edge Chinese investigative reporter has called for greater press freedom in China following his release from a three-year jail term.
“There is not enough press freedom now,” Zhao Yan, who was jailed for fraud after charges of “revealing state secrets” were withdrawn, told RFA’s Mandarin service. “A law enshrining such freedoms should be enacted,” he told reporter Xin Yu shortly before leaving for the United States.
Zhao was initially accused of “revealing state secrets” after The New York Times correctly predicted the retirement of then president Jiang Zemin. That charge was dropped but he was convicted of defrauding an official of U.S. $2,500, which he denies. He was released from prison in September 2007 but hasn’t spoken publicly until now. He was fired from a previous reporting job with the magazine China Reform for reporting on a grassroots campaign against a reservoir project in northern China.