Journalists physically attacked by police in Suqian, China

The International Federation of Journalists condemns the attack by local police on three journalists in Suqian, in Jiangsu province in north-eastern China on January 12. The IFJ demands an immediate investigation into the attack and those responsible bought to justice.   

The three journalists working for the Yangtse Evening Post and Modern Express Post tried to report on a protest in front of a local high school, following the discovery of a student’s body in a nearby river on January 10. Shortly after the protest, which was organized by the victim’s family, started, police arrived and immediately started detaining protesters. At the same time, some of the police focused on the journalists, ignoring their press cards and roughly forcing them into a police car.

According to the People’s Daily, Mr. Gao, one of the journalists from Yangtse Evening Post, was punched in the head by a police officer when he refused to get into the car. A second journalist, Mr. Sun, was kicked in the back by another officer. At the police station, the three journalists were physically abused. Mr. Sun told the newspaper and he and his colleagues were forced to stand against the wall for an extended period of time, and in one instance he was punched because an officer disapproved of his posture. The trio was detained for three hours for ‘provoking public order’. After their release, Mr. Gao underwent medical examination after he sustained bruises to his head. The local government has said they will investigate the incident.

The IFJ Asia Pacific Office said “This attack is a breach of police power and a blatant attack on the journalists for simply doing their job. The attack is also a breach of Article 35 of the Chinese Constitution which protests the right of press freedom. The treatment of these journalists is a worrying act that raises serious questions about the safety and security of China’s media community.”

The IFJ calls on the Government of Suqian City, to investigate the case immediately and provide a full report of the incident to the public. It also calls on the All China Journalists Association to exercise its duties in demanding the rights of journalists across China.  

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0946 

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 139 countries

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