Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is disturbed to learn of an attack on foreign
journalists who attempted to interview a prominent activist and lawyer in China’s
CNN journalists Stan Grant and Steven Jiang reported on February 16 that guards threw stones and pushed
and shoved them after ordering them away from the entrance to Dongshigu Village, Shandong
Province, where human rights activist Chen Guangcheng and his wife are
under house arrest.
“I demanded to know the reason we were barred from the
village…the ‘big guy’ kept shoving Stan away from the checkpoint, as his partner
knocked [fellow journalist] Brad's camera over,” Jiang reported on CNN.com.
“When we tried to walk toward the village again, the two
guards picked up rocks - large and small - from the ground and hurled them at
us and the car, as they yelled ‘get out’ and ‘no filming’.
“Some of the rocks fell dangerously close to us.”
Guangcheng, a prominent blind activist and lawyer was charged with “damaging
property and organising a mob to disturb traffic” and served his full sentence
of four years and three months before he was released on September 9, 2010.
his release, Chen and his wife have been denied contact with the outside world
against their wishes. A number of non-mainland journalists have been prevented
by local authorities from contacting Chen despite repeated attempts to do so.
The couples’ telephones were shut down and they are now under house arrest.
and his wife were reportedly beaten after a video showing his house arrest was
posted on YouTube last week by US-based rights group China Aid.
is disturbing that China’s
authorities are using violent tactics to attempt to block journalists from
legitimately interviewing Chen Guancheng,” IFJ General Secretary Aidan White said.
IFJ calls for access to the activist to be restored immediately.
is also disgraceful that Chen Guangcheng remains under house arrest after
serving a harsh sentence on trumped-up charges – he must be allowed freedom of
movement and freedom of association.”
The Foreign Correspondents' Club of China warned on
Wednesday that "correspondents should be careful if they attempt to enter
the village of activist Chen Guangcheng in Shandong province”, the BBC reported.
IFJ delivered an open
letter to Chinese authorities protesting the restrictions on foreign media
access to Chen and Liu Xia, the wife of Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo in
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
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