The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) demands the
Propaganda Department of Sichuan Province explain new restrictions on media reporting
on birth miscarriages.
A local journalist,
who wishes to remain anonymous, told
the IFJ that the April 17 order instructed all media to end all reporting on
the frequency of miscarriages among women in Dujiangyan and an alleged connection
to formaldehyde exposure.
Articles published in the local press in early March reported
several cases of miscarriages by women living in temporary housing provided to
victims of the 2008 earthquake in the province. The reports cited speculation
that the cause may be linked to formaldehyde exposure in the temporary housing.
“People in Sichuan
Province and elsewhere in China are
entitled to information about potential health risks to which they may be exposed.
It is the media’s responsibility to provide them with all possible information, including but not limited to local government
reports,” IFJ General Secretary Aidan White said.
“Actions by the Propaganda Department to prevent information
of this kind reaching the public encompasse a range rights violations, including denial of the right of journalists to access
information and blocking women’s access to essential information about major
The IFJ urges provincial and national authorities in China to
remove the restriction immediately and to refrain from instructing journalists
to disregard their professional responsibility to report on all matters of
public interest, including potential
health risks for pregnant women.
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +612 9333 0919
represents over 600,000 journalists in
120 countries worldwide