Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is concerned by the recent
restrictions on the Chinese media’s ability to report on issues of public concern.
According to reports
received, China’s Central Propaganda Department issued a restrictive order on
August 18, preventing Mainland media from reporting on protests that followed an
incident in which Japanese authorities detained a group of Chinese activists in
relation to the disputed Diaoyu or Senkakus Islands. (The group was released on
The protests, characterised
as “anti-Japan” reportedly took place across China including Shenzhen,
Guangzhou, Jinan, Hangzhou, Changsha, Harbin provinces.
A Hong Kong-based journalist of Cable Television - Timothy Wu, had his press card confiscated while covering the protests.
Restrictions were also placed on the Chinese media’s reporting on the
case of Gu Kailai, wife of former Chongqing Communist Party Secretary Bo Xilai.
The murder scandal resulting in a commuted death sentence for Gu on August 20 for
the poisoning Neil Heywood, has attracted considerable media attention
Locally however, the Chinese media have been forbidden
from reporting on the scandal since February, apart from republishing
reports written by state media- Xinhua News Agency. Media was blocked from attending
the hearing, apart from state media agencies China Central Television and
Xinhua. The two court-arranged press conferences held after the hearing and
sentence did not provide any opportunity for media questions.
Additionally, a plain clothes police person assaulted a cameraman from Hong
Kong-based Asia Television, outside the court room.
Authorities have attempted to restrict netizens from publishing on the
case. A mainland journalist was detained after he forwarded a message describing
developments in China around the case, and authorities are seeking to censor related
restrict independent reporting in the public interest are unacceptable and an
attack on the rights of China’s general public to information” said the IFJ
We urge the Central Propaganda Department to uphold Article 35 of the Chinese
Constitution and respect press freedom and the right of the Chinese people to
further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0918
The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131
Find the IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific
Find the IFJ on Facebook: www.facebook.com/IFJAsiaPacific