IFJ Calls for Fair Judicial Process for Journalists Charged in China


The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) calls

on China’s Government to

ensure open and fair trial proceedings for 10 journalists facing charges in China of

allegedly accepting bribes to not report a mining accident.



to a November 30 report in the State-owned China

Daily, the journalists were charged for allegedly accepting inducements from

Yu Xian county government officers in the form of advertisements and

subscription fees so that they would not report a mine explosion in Lijiawa, Yuxian County, Hubei

on 14 July 2008.



rescuer and 34 miners were killed in the accident, which occurred shortly before

China was to host the

Olympic Games in Beijing

in August 2008.


China’s Central Government

also reportedly charged 48 officials, including the mine owners, the county

chief, work safety officials and police officers in connection with an alleged cover-up.



BBC report at the time of the disaster said officials had allegedly moved bodies, destroyed evidence and bribed journalists to

hush up the accident.


“Cheque-book journalism is a thorn in the side

of press freedom and must not be tolerated under any circumstances,” IFJ

General Secretary Aidan White said.


“It is essential however that the proceedings

against these 10 journalists are fully transparent, as journalists working in China

face some of the most heavy, opaque and arbitrary restrictions in the world.”


For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919



represents over 600,000 journalists in 125 countries worldwide