Hong Kong Papers Targeted in China Clampdown

 

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is deeply concerned

to learn that mainstream Hong Kong newspapers removed items regarding the 20th anniversary of the June 4 Tiananmen Square massacre on the instruction of

senior officials.

 

It is unclear whether the instruction was made in Hong Kong

or Beijing,

but mainland subscribers to three Hong Kong newspapers Ming Pao Newspaper, Hong Kong

Economic Times and South

China Morning Post – found that parts of the newspapers were missing and delivery

was delayed.

 

Ming Pao reported in an editorial on May 28 that publication of its papers had

been delayed or some of the pages in its editions had been reported missing since May

19. The censored papers

were distributed to mainland subscribers.

 

According to an anonymous source from the delivery agency

for Ming Pao, the delayed delivery

and missing pages were reportedly a result of “senior instruction” to remove

articles and references to June 4.

 

The action comes as China’s Central Government is clamping

down further to prevent internet users, bloggers and online journalists from accessing

or posting any information relating to Tiananmen.

 

A blogger, who asked to remain anonymous, told the IFJ that

online discussion about the June 4 anniversary had been occurring until a few

weeks ago, when any mention of messages or text related to the anniversary

vanished.

 

The search engine Baidu is also reportedly limiting online

users, mainly university students, from uploading messages on its campus forum page. A

website called China Think (www.chinathink.net)

containing intellectual discussions including about June 4 was shut down on May

25 without explanation.

 

“Press freedom in any country requires that matters of

public interest not be tailored to exclude subjects considered by authorities to

be taboo,” IFJ General Secretary Aidan White

said.

 

“Any act to physically remove media reports on the June 4 anniversary,

whether it be in online forums or in printed newspapers, amounts to heavy-handed

censorship that would not be tolerated in an open society.”

 

The IFJ urges China

to demonstrate that its National Human Rights Action Plan of China 2009-2010 is

a legitimate promise to improve the right to freedom of expression and

information for all people in China.

 

For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919

 

The IFJ

represents over 600,000 journalists in

120 countries worldwide