The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) urges China’s provincial governments to ensure an open
and safe environment for journalists working in Hubei Province, after a series of attacks were
reported this week.
A journalist, who asked to remain anonymous, told the IFJ
that he and other journalists were harassed by local officials, put under
surveillance and eventually forced on May 28 to leave the village of Badong,
where they were reporting on a murder case involving a local government
The murder sparked media interest when allegations of police
and local government malpractice in the judicial process were made public.
On May 26, the provincial office of the Central Propaganda
Department reportedly requested an order be issued to stop all journalists from
reporting the case.
However, none of the journalists forced to leave Badong had
seen or heard of the order, the journalist told the IFJ.
Meanwhile, two reporters named as Kong Pu of The Beijing News, and Wei Yi Magazine,
of Southern Metropolis Daily, were reportedly
beaten up by plain-clothes officers at Ye San Guan village, near Badong, on May
The reporters were interviewing the grandmother of the
murder suspect when four or five people claiming to be relatives entered the
house, physically abused the journalists and confiscated their bags and
equipment including Wei’s camera for several hours.
The interviewee denied knowing the assailants.
“Journalists worldwide have a responsibility in their
watchdog role to call governments to account for corruption, malpractice and
lack of transparency. China
is no exception,” IFJ General Secretary Aidan White
“Interference by provincial officials to prevent journalists
from investigating a matter of public interest contradicts promises made by Chinese
authorities to permit greater freedom of expression.”
The IFJ calls on China’s national authorities to ensure
all provincial governments are made aware of and adhere to the Government’s
stated commitment to promoting greater freedoms of expression, information and
association on a national level.
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +612 9333 0919
represents over 600,000 journalists in
120 countries worldwide