Journalists Refused Entry to Trial of Blogger in China

The International

Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemns China’s

use of orders and charges against journalists after journalists and members of the

public were refused entry to the trial of blogger Duan Lei in Shandong province on July 17.


Duan faces

criminal charges of “endangering social stability” for an article published on

July 3 in which he detailed alleged corruption of a Communist Party Committee

Secretary in Cao County.


In what

would be considered a case of alleged defamation under civil legislation, Duan

could face imprisonment if convicted.


Bloggers and online media reporters in


have faced a major clampdown by authorities this year, following the

introduction in January of a policy to curb online

content deemed “vulgar” or “pornographic”.


On July

16, a blogger and signatory to the democratic reform and human rights-focused Charter

08 petition was reportedly detained by Mawei District Police in Fujian Province

in relation to comments he posted online about the failure of police to

properly report the suspicious death of a woman in hospital in February 2008.


Five bloggers including human rights activists Fan Yanqiong

and Wu Huaying were reportedly detained in late June for commenting on the same



Meanwhile, on July 21, the Central Propaganda Department forbade all

media from publishing anything referring to corruption allegations against the

eldest son of President Hu Jintao. The order followed publication of an article

headlined “Hu Jintao’s son linked to African corruption probe” in the UK-based The Telegraph on July 17.


The Telegraph reported

that three people had been arrested on charges of fraud, corruption and bribery

involving a government contract with the state-owned Chinese company Nuctech. The

President’s son, Hu Haifeng, was the president of Nuctech until last year. He

was subsequently appointed as Party secretary of Tsinghua Holdings, which controls



The IFJ is told that no media outlet

in China

has reported the case since the ban was imposed.   



continuing efforts to control and silence reporting on matters of public

interest only underline how far China has to go in achieving a free and

independent media,” IFJ General Secretary Aidan White




calls on China’s

Central and provincial governments to end all forms of restrictions on the media,

including arbitrary detentions and arrests of journalists and bloggers.


For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919



represents over 600,000 journalists in

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