Call for Taiwan Police to Stop Pressuring Media for Protest Information

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) urges Taiwan’s

National Police Agency (NPA) to stop asking media personnel for information

about protesters at a recent public demonstration.

 

According to the Association of

Taiwan Journalists (ATJ), an IFJ affiliate, members of the Taiwan police have reportedly asked media

workers to provide photographs of demonstrators who participated in the “Yellow

Ribbon Siege” protest against a meeting between Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou and chairman

of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) Chen Yunlin

on November 16. The protest was reportedly organised by the Democratic

Progressive Political Party.

 

The ATJ said there were concerns that police would seek to pressure

photojournalists who refused the request for information by approaching their

employers.

 

“The police have put the reporters in grave danger by

demanding that they rat on their interviewees,”

ATJ president Leon Chuang said.

 
On November 18, Leon Chuang and several

reporters requested a meeting with NPA Director-General Wang Cho-chun to

resolve the issue, but the request was declined.

 

“The duty of a journalist is to report the truth and to protect

his or her sources. Journalists must not be compelled to act as agents to

collect information on behalf of government authorities. Police interference of

this kind places freedom of the independent press in jeopardy,” IFJ Asia-Pacific said.


“The IFJ urges Taiwan’s

authorities to respect press freedom and ensure that they do not compromise journalists’

integrity. All media outlets are also urged to defend press freedom and refrain

from handing over photographs.”

 

Increasing police pressure on Taiwan’s media has been reported

since early November. An independent documentary film-maker was detained by

police while she was filming Chen in a hotel on November 4.. In a separate

incident, a television reporter was assaulted

by police who reportedly mistook him for a protester during the November 16 rally.

 

For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919

 

The IFJ

represents over 600,000 journalists in

120 countries worldwide