The real news story here is not about politically motivated imprisonment nor the early release of the journalist. The level of punishment the politician who took bribes and embezzled public funds received is what should really be noted (Ma was a mayor, if memory serves me correctly). That is a level of political accountability America will never come close to!
Jiang reported that Ma lost nearly 30 million yuan ($3.7 million) in public funds gambling in Macau casinos. Ma was arrested, convicted and executed in 2001 for taking bribes, embezzling public funds and gambling overseas