The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is
deeply concerned by reports that Great
Wall Monthly, an investigative news magazine in China, has apparently been shut
down without an official explanation.
According to an open letter published by the
magazine’s editorial team on September 28, the magazine’s editorial and
marketing teams were forced to leave the publication due to “reasons known to
all.” The monthly magazine failed to publish an October edition on the 15th as scheduled after the dismissal of these staff. It is alleged that the
magazine’s changes are a direct result of pressure from Chinese authorities.
Great Wall Monthly focused on investigative news reporting, and published
stories on a number of sensitive issues in recent months. The magazine’s August
issue contained criticism of the Chinese Government’s failure to conclusively
implement its Code of Access to Information. Other issues included an in-depth
investigative report into the misuse of psychiatric care to detain petitioners
and allegations of misuse of donations by Red Cross China.
According to a Radio Free Asia report, Beijing police interrogated
the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Zhu Shunzhong in August without due cause.
During this time it is alleged that representatives of the Chinese Government
first threatened to close down the magazine.
“The environment for investigative news journalism
is becoming more and more threatening,” the IFJ Asia-Pacific
“Any negative reporting of government affairs risks
censorship, and as in the case of Great
Wall Monthly, the forced closure of the publication.”
In August, Chen Zhong, the president of Nan Feng Chuang (NFC) magazine, was dismissed for being
"unable to correctly censor the magazine's
articles and for taking things in the wrong political direction."
In September, two prominent Beijing-based national
newspapers were transferred to the authority of the Propaganda Department of
Beijing. Both newspapers are now
restricted from reporting on news events outside the Beijing region.
The IFJ urges the Chinese authorities to respect press
freedom as enshrined in the country’s constitution, and allow journalists to
independently investigate and report the news.
The IFJ also urges the All-China Journalists’
Association to investigate the alleged interference with the rights of
journalists, and hold the Chinese Government accountable for any possible
breaches of those rights.
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +612 9333 0919
represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries
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