The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemns the brutal attack against a veteran journalist in Zhengzhou, in Henan province in east-central China on October 13. The IFJ demand an immediate investigation into the attack and to bring those responsible to justice.
According to various media report, Yang Yanfang, the editor-in-chief of Big Elephant Think Tank, a Henan-based think tank which focusing on public opinion and big data, was attacked by four people outside his office building on October 13. After the attack Yang underwent a medical examination which discovered cerebral hemorrhage and skull fractures and he was placed in an induced coma. According to thepaper.cn, an online media outlet in Shanghai, Liu Shuzhi, Yang’s wife said she doesn’t know why he was attacked and Yang had not mentioned any threats to his life.
Numerous online media reports speculated that the attack was related to Yang’s 2012 report which revealed that Zhai Zhenfeng, the Head of Land Resource and Housing Administrative Bureau in Henan, accepted a bribe. After trial in December 2014, Zhai was convicted and sentence to imprisonment for 25 years.
The Zhengzhou police did not provide any information on the incident but said they are investigating.
The IFJ said “We condemn the brutal attack on Yang Yanfung, which is an attack on press freedom in China. As we lead up to the UN International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, we call on the government to take immediate action to investigate the attack and bring those responsible to justice.”
The IFJ extend our sympathies to Yang’s family and hope for a speedy recovery.
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0946
The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries
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