New York, February 8, 2008—PEN American Center welcomes the early release of Yu Huafeng, Deputy Editor-in-chief and general manager of the Guangzhou-based daily Nanfang Dushi Bao (Southern Metropolis News). Yu, who was arrested January 14, 2004 for alleged financial irregularities, was initially sentenced to 12 years in prison. It has been reported that the evidence presented in court did not support the charges, and it is widely believed that that his imprisonment was part of a targeted campaign to silence the newspaper, which is known for its aggressive reporting on social issues and official corruption. His sentence was ultimately reduced three times to allow for his early release.

Larry Siems, (212) 334-1660 ext. 105