Laura Ling’s UK family have started a private letter campaign to the North Korean Government asking for her release
A few weeks ago, I posted a blog written by my cousin Iain Clayton, who’s wife Laura Ling has been sentenced to imprisonment in North Korea, with her colleague Euna Lee.
Now Iain’s brother Charles Clayton, who lives in the UK, has started a private letter campaign to generate a national and worldwide plea on behalf of the two women.
America has no diplomatic relations with North Korea and the Swedish Ambassador in North Korea has had limited communications with the two women. So Charles and his wife Lorraine sought advice on how to help through diplomatic channels in England. They were advised of ways to indirectly approach the North Korean government in a bid to help Laura and Euna.
They insist that the campaign does not seek not to offend nor blame the North Korean government, but to respectfully present the cases of Laura and Euna. They hope that the magnitude of the campaign will encourage the North Korean government to release the girls on humanitarian grounds.
Laura is a journalist for Current TV (based in California). She had travelled to the Chinese/North Korean border to research the plight of female North Korean refugees. On March 17 Laura was placed under arrest by the North Korean authorities along with a colleague, Euna Lee. From June 4 to 8, Laura and Euna were tried for ‘hostile acts’ against the State and sentenced to 14 and 12 years respectively, hard labour in a North Korean labour camp.
“Laura and Euna are American citizens. As you can imagine, with North Korea’s nuclear and missile testing, it could not be a worse time for this to happen. This issue is highly sensitive and therefore, activity by the families was initially very low key,”
Charles and Lorraine explained in an email.
“However, now that the girls have been sentenced we hope that the North Koreans will show clemency and send the girls home to their families, whom they have not seen for three months. Euna Lee has a four year old daughter at home. Laura and Iain are days away from their fifth wedding anniversary.”
How can you help?
Charles and Lorraine have asked for people to help them by drafting a letter to the ambassador. They have already written a letter,
which can be found here. You simply need to edit as appropriate to your circumstance.
You will notice the tone of the letter. They have asked that for this private letter campaign to have any chance of being effective in shortening the length of time Laura and Euna remain in detention it is important that this tone is maintained.
The letter should be sent by post, to:
HE The Ambassador of DPR Korea
Embassy of the DPR Korea
73 Gunnersbury Avenue
London W5 4LP