The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is alarmed
at reports that a journalism tutor and student were refused entry to visit the family
of jailed human rights activist Chen Guangcheng in Linyi County, Shandong,
on March 8.
Wang Keqin, a veteran journalist and journalism school tutor from a Beijing university, and a student were reportedly about to arrive at the
village where Chen’s wife lives when at least five men blocked their way, and physically
and verbally abused them.
“I was beaten up but not badly hurt. The attitude of the
gang was terribly arrogant,” the student told IFJ
Yuan Weijing, Chen’s wife, confirmed to the IFJ that several
incidents of gang interference had prevented her, friends and colleagues from
visiting Chen. Yuan said she had previously called for investigations by the Shandong provincial
authorities into the violence but they reportedly did not respond to her request.
“One of the cornerstones of press freedom is the safety and
right of passage of media personnel, whether they be a student journalist, journalism
teacher or working journalist,” IFJ General Secretary Aidan
“Reports of repeated acts of antagonism toward the media in Shandong Province without any formal intervention
by the relevant authorities are of great concern to the IFJ.”
Chen, a blind human rights activist, was jailed on August
24, 2006, on charges of destruction of property and assembling a crowd to
disrupt traffic after he accepted an interview with Time magazine to disclose a forced abortion scheme in Shangdong Province. He is currently serving a
sentence of four years and three months.
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
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