The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemns the sentencing of a journalist to three years jail on charges of “inciting subversion of state power” by a court in Chengdu, Sichuan province, on November 21.
Chen Daojun, a former editor at Sichuan Daily and former journalist for a Communist Party internal newspaper, was jailed for writing three articles which the prosecution argued were critical of China’s Government, including one article relating to the unrest in Tibet in March. The articles were published in Zheng Ming, a Hong Kong-based magazine.
Chen’s lawyer, Zhu Jiufu, told the IFJ that he argued the articles were merely expressions of Chen’s point of view and were not intended to subvert the Government.
Chen was arrested on May 9 after participating on May 4 in a non-violent demonstration against the proposed construction of a petrochemical plant in Chengdu. About 200 people protested against the building of a chemical plant which they believed might endanger their lives. The Government claimed that the factory met environmental standards.
Meanwhile, the founder of website 64tiangwang.com, Huang Qi, remains in detention after being held for three months by police in Chengdu. He has not been charged. Huang has also been denied visits by his family and his lawyer.
Many journalists and writers remain behind bars for the crime of “inciting subversion of state power”, including Hu Jia, who was sentenced on April 3 in a Beijing court to three and a half years’ jail for articles and interviews critical of the Government’s record on human rights.
“China must remember that journalism is not a crime,” IFJ Asia-Pacific said. “China’s Government has too often jailed journalists, writers or bloggers for doing their jobs.
“The IFJ urges China’s authorities to stop attacking journalists because of what they write and what they say.”
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries worldwide