China: Documentary filmmaker arrested over subversion charges

Chen Jiaping, a Beijing-based documentary filmmaker, was arrested by Chinese authorities and charged for allegedly subverting the state after covering a story on a Chinese activist. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) calls on the Chinese authorities to respect the media’s right to report and call for his release.

Chen Jiaping. Credit: Facebook

On March 5, Jiaping was arrested by police in Beijing on charges related to his unreleased film featuring Chinese civil rights activist Xu Zhiyong. A letter written by Jiaping’s wife on April 12, said Jiaping was detained in a "surveillance residence" in Beijing’s Haidian Public Security Bureau for “criminal incitement to subvert state power” after shooting the documentary on the activist.

According to a Facebook group that published the letter, Jiaping is barred from seeing any legal representation and his family.

The subject of Jiaping’s film, Xu Zhiyong was arrested in February this year for allegedly critcising the general secretary of the Communist Party of China, Xi Jinping. Police earlier confiscated Chen’s documentary footage at the time of Zhiyong’s arrest on February 15.

The IFJ said: “Chen Jiaping’s arrest reflects the methods of control used to curtail freedom of expression for journalists and citizens in China. The IFJ urges the Chinese authorities to release Jiaping and drop all charges against him.”

For further information contact IFJ Asia - Pacific on [email protected]

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries

Twitter: @ifjasiapacific, on Facebook: IFJAsiaPacific and Instagram