Journalists in China Held for Reporting ‘Jasmine Revolution’ Protests

The International

Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is deeply concerned by reports that police in

China charged a writer with inciting

subversion of state power for distributing “jasmine revolution” information



Sichuan Literature magazine writer Ran

Yunfei, a signatory of the Charter 08 manifesto, was detained by police and may

have been charged according to a February 24 report in German newspaper Deutsche Welle.


Many bloggers,

journalists and dissidents have been detained

by police since the “jasmine

revolution” information began spreading through the internet on February 19,

reports said. Police have blocked, harassed and detained journalists when they

tried to cover a protest on February 27, the second protest in China

held on successive Sundays, with the first held on February 20. 


“Journalists have the

right to report any protest regardless of whether it is in China, Egypt or Libya,” IFJ General Secretary

Aidan White said.


“Police have no

legitimate claim to block, detain or harass journalists nor to charge anyone who

exercises their right of access to information under the Universal Declaration

of Human Rights.”


According to a number of

reports by Hong Kong media outlets, several journalists including Hong Kong, Taiwan and foreign journalists were blocked and

detained by police when they were covering a protest on February 27 in

Wangfujing, Beijing. ATV reported that a camera operator

and reporter and a TVB camera

operator were detained for a few hours before they were released. It was

reported that one of ATV news clips capturing the

protest was deleted by police

officers during the journalists’



On the same day Bloomberg

TV journalist Stephen Engle was pushed to the ground by police and his head was

then beaten with a broom handle by a man who dressed like as a street sweeper in


according to the Wall Street



The IFJ has also learned

that journalists from foreign media outlets one from Radio

Free Asia and another from Kyodo (Japan) had their identities

checked by police in Guangzhou on February 27.


“One of the plainclothes

officers pretended to be a “protester” and got closer to me – he thought that I

was a protester and then he tried to get information from me,” said one of the

journalists, who requested anonymity.


“He used his iPhone to

photograph my face and my identity was checked by a policeman in uniform

immediately after I left the plainclothes officer.”


The IFJ urges the Human

Rights Council to demand that United Nations member countries sincerely uphold freedom of

the press and demand the immediate release of people detained during the recent

protests in China.




For further information contact IFJ

Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919


The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 125



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