IFJ Concerned by Illegal Threats to Journalists in Southern China


International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is deeply concerned by reports an officer of the Chinese Government threatened

to illegally detain a journalist on October 9.


The unnamed journalist was investigating

irregularities in tendering for government services managed by the Municipal

Government Procurement Centre of Haikou City, the capital of Hainan

Province in Southern



According to the Xinhua News Agency, the Haikou

Procurement Centre had selected an underqualified software corporation for a

government project in Hainan

Province, despite quoting

a price three

times higher than any of the rival bidders and lacking experience in providing the

service. The successful corporation, Xinghai

Lida Software Corporation Ltd, also failed to produce a software corporation

certificate or proper records of social insurance payments, which were formal

requirements of the bidding process.


When asked for an interview Haikou Government Procurement Centre DirectorCai Donghai,  refused the journalist’s request, threatening to “lock the reporter in a

meeting room”.


According to Section 6 of the Code of Access to Government

Information, the Chinese Government has a duty to disclose procurements for

service, contract standards and progress of government funded projects.


“Access to information regarding government use of

public funds is a basic right of all citizens,” the IFJ

Asia-Pacific said.


“Governments must learn that harassment of

journalists holding governments accountable for the protection of such rights

is never acceptable.”


This is thesecondreported case of the harassment of a journalist by Chinese governmentofficials in recent weeks.


On September 22, Ji Xuguang, an investigative journalist for China’s Southern

Metropolis Daily, published a report about civil servant Li

Hao being charged with the kidnap and imprisonment of six women in an

underground bunker for the purposes of sexual slavery. 


Immediately after publishing his report, Ji was approached by two

unidentified men representing local police. He claims he was threatened and

interrogated for details of the source of his information, and for revealing

state secrets.


The IFJ urges Hainan Governor Luo Baoming to investigate

the report and take appropriate action to punish any official found to be

intimidating or threatening journalists.


For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919



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