IFJ Urges Government Disclosure Regarding Attacks in China’s Xinjiang Province

 

The

International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is deeply concerned by the reluctance

of China’s government to

release information regarding recent attacks in the city of Kashi, in the country’s

western Xinjiang province.

 

According to

official local news reports, on February 28, 13 people were killed by nine attackers

armed with knives. Seven of the nine suspects were gunned down by police at the

scene, with two others arrested in the city soon afterwards.

 

However,

further information on the attacks has yet to be released by the local

government, with only selected media outlets allowed to enter into the city to

report on the story.  

 

According to

the Article 6, 9 (1) and 10 of China’s Disclosure of Government

Information Regulations, administrative departments have a duty to

release information promptly after incidents of public great concern.

 

Although IFJ

appreciates the government’s duty and intention to protect the safety of its

people, we believe this can best be done by keeping the public properly

informed of incidents related to their safety and security. This cannot be done

when official information is provided in a manner that is inconsistent or

superficial.

 

“Article 35

of Chinese Constitution’s enshrines press freedom. However, the paucity of

official information of serious incidents such as the attacks in Kashi, when

coupled with restrictions on media access, frustrate China’s progress towards this goal”,

IFJ Asia-Pacific Office said.

 

“The IFJ

urges the Central Government of China to direct the local government of

Xinjiang to strictly follow the Disclosure

of Government Information Law, and halt its practice of censoring the media

and restricting the access of journalists.”

 

Kashi

experienced similar organised attacks over two consecutive days in July 2011. Eight people were killed and 31 injured on July

30, and 5 people killed and 13 injured on July 31.

 

The ethnically diverse city of Kashi is home to more than 30 different ethnic groups, and was designated a

special economic zone by the government in 2010.

 

For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +61 2 9333 0950 

 

The IFJ

represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries

 

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the IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific

 

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