The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is deeply frustrated by
reports that two Chinese journalists were harassed and assaulted and another
detained in a separate incident while investigating official misconduct and
On October 28, Cai Sheng and Wang Shaoyang of the Shanghai Media Group’s Radio
and Television of Shanghai stations, were involved in an altercation with a
group of people in the city of Hengshui, in China’s northern Hebei province. During the incident, Cai was
struck on the back of the head by an unidentified individual.
According to a Radio Free Asia report, Cai and Wang were assaulted during
a visit to an electronics store in Hengshui’s Shenzhou district, adjacent to
Shenzhou Prison. The visit was part of an investigation into corruption involving
correctional officers, prompted by the escape of a prisoner on September 11.
The subsequent capture of the escapee revealed that correctional officers had illegally
allowed prisoners access to mobile phones, and that the head of the prison, Huo Xinfa, had
failed to publicly disclose the escape.
On October 30, Xun Xuyang, a journalist with Southern Metropolis Daily, was detained by police in Zhumadian, in China’s northern Henan
Province, for approximately 30 minutes
while investigating criminal charges against the head of the Liangzhou district
police station in Runan
County. It is alleged
that Liangzhou Police chief Wang Yinpeng, had hit eight pedestrians while
driving under the influence of alcohol. Five of the pedestrians died as a
result of the accident.
In a post on Chinese microblog platform Weibo, Xun claimed that he was
detained by a plain-clothes agent who refused to disclose his identity. The
agent reportedly held him at a police station for half an hour until he was transferred
to the custody of an officer of the Runan propaganda department. The officer
then attempted unsuccessfully to detain Xun in a local hotel.
“It is extremely frustrating that media workers in China continue
to suffer harassment and intimidation from public officials in the course of
their duties,” IFJ Asia-Pacific said.
“Calls from China’s
central government for recognition of the rights of journalists to conduct
investigations, in these cases into official misconduct, clearly aren’t being
heeded by public officials and police.
“The IFJ applauds the efforts of Chinese journalists who continue to investigate
important cases of corruption and negligence under such constraints.”
The IFJ urges the Public Security Bureau of China to direct the police of
Hengshui city to investigate the harassment of Cai Sheng and Wang Shaoyang.
Furthermore, the IFJ urges the Central Propaganda Department of China to
investigate the conduct of its officers and ensure they are not impeding the
work of journalists.
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +612 9333 0919
represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries
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