China Issues New Bans Ahead of National Day

The International

Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemns a new series of bans and restrictions on

the media issued by China’s

Central Propaganda Department,

saying the bans appear designed to control media content in the lead-up to the

country’s National Day on October 1.

 

Local sources told the IFJ that all media outlets have been

ordered not to report on events related to the lead-poisoning of more than 2000

children in Huana, Shanxi and Yunan

provinces in mid-August. Public displays of anger outside government offices

and the detention of protesting parents of poisoned children are reportedly

off-limits.

 

A ban also has been ordered on reporting of a riot of more

than 10,000 villagers in Fengwei

town, Quanzhou, Fujian Province on September 1. Dozens of

people were injured when villagers protesting the contamination of drinking

water by a tannery and oil refinery clashed with police.

 

In addition, the media

has been ordered to use only information provided by the State-owned Xinhua news

agency regarding the arrival of a reported 30,000

Burmese refugees in Konkan, in south-western

Yunnan

Province. The BBC reported

that foreign journalists had been denied entry to the refugee camps.

 

Likewise, journalists

in China have been told to

use only Xinhua information in reporting on a recent trip by Tibet’s spiritual leader,

the Dalai Lama, to Taiwan.

 

“The IFJ condemns China’s continuing bans and

restrictions on media reporting on matters of great public,” IFJ General Secretary Aidan

White said.

 

“The job of a journalist is to report in the public interest.

These bans deny the public their right to information by preventing journalists

from upholding their responsibilities.”

 

The IFJ urges China’s central and provincial

governments to put an end to using mechanisms of state regulation and

censorship to manipulate the media and prevent it reporting in the public

interest.

 

For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919

 

The IFJ

represents over 600,000 journalists in

120 countries worldwide