China Media Group Bans Journalists From Speaking Of Xiaobo Case

 

The International

Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is deeply concerned that one of China’s

largest and influential media groups warned staff members not to make mention

of 2010 Nobel Peace Laureate Liu Xiaobo, who is to have his award confirmed

today.

 

An IFJ source said journalists received the warning on December 9

from group managers, who asked them not to note any details of Liu’s case in

social media platforms, including personal blogs and microblogging

applications.

 

The warning also said that they should not re-publish or make any comments about the case, or distribute

information about the staff warning to anyone outside of the company, which has

19 media outlets, including newspapers, magazines and websites in China.

 

The IFJ has also learned that transmission signals of Hong Kong broadcasters

were blocked on December 9 by mainland authorities in Guangdong province. There are reports that a

number of foreign media websites including the BBC and Norwegian Broadcasting

Corporation (NRK) were interrupted in Beijing.

 

“The IFJ has grave concerns that a media organisation would

attempt to muzzle the voices of journalists and media workers and deny their

fundamental right to freedom of expression,” IFJ General Secretary Aidan White said.

 

“Today, on Human Rights Day, it is a terrible thing to see

evidence of the environment of self-censorship in China that accompanies the threats,

harassment and censorship that is delivered by the country’s propaganda

mechanisms.”

 

The IFJ encourages the All China Journalists’ Association and

journalists and media workers in China to refuse all directives which

intrude or compromise their rights.

 

The IFJ also calls on China to ratify the International Covenant on Civil

and Political Rights, which the country signed in 1998.

 

Liu

Xiaobo was detained at the end of 2008 just before the release of Charter 08, a

manifesto for political reform he helped to draft calling for freedom of

assembly, expression and religion. On December 25, 2009, he was sentenced to

eleven years in prison for inciting subversion. The ceremony in Oslo today will reserve an

empty chair to signify Liu's inability to be formally presented with the

coveted and influential award in person.

 

For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919

 

The IFJ

represents more than 600,000 journalists in 125 countries

 

Find the

IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific

 

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