IFJ Sends Letter to China Officials about Detention of Media Workers in Sichuan Hotel

 

Xi

Jinping, Vice President of China 

 

Wen Jiabao

Premier of China

 

Meng

Jianzhu , the Minister of Public

Security

 

Jiang

Jufeng , Governor of Sichuan Province 

 

Peng

Qinghua , Director of Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of

the State Council

 

                                                                                                                                

August 17,

2009

 

Dear Sirs,

 

RE: Detention of Media

Workers in Sichuan Hotel

 

The International

Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is deeply concern about the unexplained and

prolonged detention of two Hong Kong journalists who were in Sichuan province to report on the trial of Tan

Zuoren on August 12.

 

The Beijing-based journalist and cameraman, who work for Now Television,

were detained by police at their hotel in the early morning as they attempted

to go to the court to hear the case of Tan,

who is charged with inciting subversion of state power.

 

The IFJ received information that police initially claimed

they had detained the media workers in relation to a complaint that they were

in possession of prohibited goods. The allegation was changed shortly after to

say the pair was alleged to be involved in possession of drugs.

 

The IFJ also learnt that the police failed to produce

identity cards or a search warrant to justify the media workers’ detention.

This is a violation of requirements under sections 110 and 111of Chapter 5 of the Criminal

Procedure Law which asserts that all police officers must produce their

identity card and search warrant based on evidence of the allegation before conducting a

search except in an emergency situation.

 

Despite a fruitless search over several hours, the police refused to free the journalists from

their rooms. The journalists were released and the police left the premises

without explanation around 1pm the same day.

 

The journalists filed a complaint with the Hong

Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council.

 

The IFJ

respectfully reminds Vice-President Xi Jinping and Premier Wen Jiaobao that the treatment of these two

journalists by the Sichuan police is a serious

violation of the principles of press freedom and freedom of movement enshrined

in China’s

Constitution.

 

The IFJ calls on Premier Wen to urge the Minister of China’s

Security Bureau and the Governor of Sichuan Government to conduct an

investigation into this incident and publicly report the investigation results.  

 

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

Jacqueline Park

Director

IFJ

Asia-Pacific

Regional Office

http://asiapacific.ifj.org

 

Tel: +612 9333 0999

Fax: +612 9333 0933

Email:ifj@ifj-asia.org