Media Release: China
June 03, 2013
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemns the three violent attacks against journalists in Shannxi Province over the past week and is particularly disturbed to learn of the involvement of Government officials in one of the incidents.
On 29 May, Feng, a journalist of Shannxi Science and Technology Views newspaper, was attacked by two men with a knife after he refused to accept bribe during his investigations into an illegal land eviction in Yulin City, Yuyang District. According to reports, the attackers yelled “Who asked you to be so nosy!” Feng said the attack, which left him with several injuries, happened during a meeting with the deputy minister of the local propaganda department.
An additional two brutal attacks occurred on 30 May. Two journalists of New West magazine reported that they were threatened and attacked by several people under instruction from the Department of Land and Resources, Shannxi province. According ot reports, the pair were investigating illegal gold mining in Tongguan County, Weinan City. When the pair made inquiries about a mining license to the department, a man claiming to be the Director of the Department harassed and scolded the journalists saying “Do we have to report to media about what are we doing ? We have rights not to answer your questions. I could make you die today.” The journalists were then physically attacked by officers. One journalist was punched in the head by the Director and kicked and punched all by the other officers. He suffered numerous injuries as a result of the attack.
A third attached occurred at a vocational school in Weinan City. Two journalists of a Shannxi Television were attacked by the Headmaster and Deputy Headmaster of Shannxi HuaShan Vocational School when they were investigating a student complaint. The journalists were injured and their camera damaged.
The IFJ I deeply concerned by the shocking brutality, victimisation and complete disregard for role of media demonstrated by the government and leaders in each of these three incidents. These attacks are an attack not only of the individual journalists but also of press freedom in general” said the IFJ Asia-Pacific office.
We urge the Central Government to act to ensure the safety of journalists and foster an environment where they can carry out their professional duties without interference.
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0950
The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries
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