Reporting Ban in China Puts Women's Health at Risk

 

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) demands the

Propaganda Department of Sichuan Province explain new restrictions on media reporting

on birth miscarriages.

 

A local journalist,

who wishes to remain anonymous, told

the IFJ that the April 17 order instructed all media to end all reporting on

the frequency of miscarriages among women in Dujiangyan and an alleged connection

to formaldehyde exposure.

 

Articles published in the local press in early March reported

several cases of miscarriages by women living in temporary housing provided to

victims of the 2008 earthquake in the province. The reports cited speculation

that the cause may be linked to formaldehyde exposure in the temporary housing.

 

“People in Sichuan

Province and elsewhere in China are

entitled to information about potential health risks to which they may be exposed.

It is the media’s responsibility to provide them with all possible information, including but not limited to local government

reports,” IFJ General Secretary Aidan White said. 

 

“Actions by the Propaganda Department to prevent information

of this kind reaching the public encompasse a range rights violations, including denial of the right of journalists to access

information and blocking women’s access to essential information about major

health issues.”

 

The IFJ urges provincial and national authorities in China to

remove the restriction immediately and to refrain from instructing journalists

to disregard their professional responsibility to report on all matters of

public interest, including potential

health risks for pregnant women.

 

For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919

 

The IFJ

represents over 600,000 journalists in

120 countries worldwide