We, the undersigned, are writing to voice our support for Ms Cheng Lei. We have known her variously as a friend, colleague, mentor, journalist or fellow Australian. For those who know here personally, in every sense we know her to be a caring, professional, competent, and respected journalist.
We are writing to voice our concern at her arrest for “suspicion of illegally supplying state secrets overseas”, and her ongoing detention which began August 13, 2020. We are confident she has done nothing wrong and hold grave concerns for her health, safety and care during her ongoing detention.
We are concerned about the chilling affect her arrest has on the practice of journalism, which has never been more critical. Cheng Lei has, in her career, earned respect of her colleagues for her straightforward business reporting. This was informed by her Bachelor of Commerce, received at the University of Queensland and then her admission as a Certified Practicing Accountant certified by CPA Australia. Her work in the field of business journalism lead to her being appointed a Global Alumni Ambassador for Australia by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
We are concerned about the wellbeing of her beloved children, aged nine and 11. They have been separated from her for well over a year now and she’s had no contact with them since her arrest.
We stand with Cheng Lei as a journalist and Australian citizen.
We are seeking compassion and reason from the Chinese Government in dealing with her case.
We are calling for her immediate release and her return home to Australia to be reunited with her children.
Director, IFJ Asia-Pacific
UNESCO Chair in Journalism and Communication at UQ, and Spokesman, Alliance for Journalists’ Freedom
Federal President (Media) Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance
SMH Political Editor and Press Gallery President
Washington Correspondent Sky News Australia and former colleague
Former China Correspondent and friend
Former Colleague and friend
Friend and former CGTN colleague
Crime Reporter 7News, former colleague, friend
News Presenter, friend and former colleague
International News Anchor, Former CGTN Anchor, colleague, and friend
News Anchor and former colleague
Former CGTN Journalist, friend and colleague
Cameraman and former colleague
Former CNBC Journalist
Camera operator and former colleague
Former Colleague, journalist & Documentary Filmmaker
Deputy Chairman CAP Resources Company LTD
Former UK Correspondent CGTN, former colleague
Freelance Journalist, Former CGTN Director of Newsgathering
News Anchor Al Jazeera, friend and former colleague
Former Colleague CCTV, CGTN
Freelance Journalist and former colleague
CGTN International Desk Editor, former colleague
Chief Political Correspondent, The Saturday Paper
ABC Chief Political Correspondent
Investigative Journalist, Sydney Morning Herald
Former China Correspondent and industry fellow
The Guardian Political Reporter
Senior Fellow Lowy Institute
Australian Financial Review
Political Editor The Guardian
The Bolt Report, Sky News Australia
Presenter, ABC News Breakfast
Host, Democracy Sausage, Columnist, Professor.
Columnist The Age and SMH
Freelance political reporter, fellow journalist
Political Editor Nine News
Host First Edition, Sky News Australia
Washington Correspondent, The Australian
State Political Editor – The Age
Journalist NY Post and Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph Federal Political Editor
US Correspondent Seven Network
Victorian President MEAA Media Section and freelance journalist
ABC Business Reporter
Seven Network Melbourne
Investments Editor Finder, former colleague
Black Stump Media
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