On Wednesday, friends and supporters of detained journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling gathered on the steps of City Hall. Speakers included SF Supervisor Eric Mar, colleagues of both women, representatives from concerned organizations like Reporters Without Borders and fellow journalists. In addition, a statement from Laura’s sister Lisa Ling was read. The event ended on a high note with Nzingha Shakur’s moving rendition of “Amazing Grace.”
Although nationwide vigils were organized to coincide with the date of the two women’s trial in North Korea, there is as yet still no word on the verdict. As a friend of Euna and former co-worker of both, I ask you to keep both women and their families in your thoughts.
UPDATE: My friend and vigil organizer Holly Gibson just called me to let me know that it was announced that the two women were sentenced to twelve years of hard labor by the North Korean court.
Although we’re pretty shaken by the verdict, it was an outcome everyone involved in the vigil had known was a possibility, even if it was impossible to really prepare oneself to hear. I’m still hopeful for a diplomatic solution and urge everyone moved by Euna and Laura’s plight to do anything you can to put pressure on your representatives and the State Department to seek their release, or if you live elsewhere to show your support for organizations devoted to human rights, the journalistic profession and freedom of the press.