International Federation of
Journalists (IFJ) is deeply concerned about two separate incidents perpetrated
against journalists in China
in recent days, one which left a journalist seriously injured.
June 24, Fang Xuen Chang, scientific editor of the Beijing-based Caijing Magazine, was beaten over the
head with an iron rod by two unidentified assailants, after he left work. Fang‘s
head and back were seriously injured in the attack, which occurred near Fang’s
home, according to Phoenix Satellite TV.
said Fang claimed to have no knowledge of why he was attacked and he denied experiencing
tension or animosity with other people. However, Fang, who has focused on
health issues in his reporting, recalled that his latest critical news report
was related to genetic mutations found in crops grown in China.
“It is a sad reality that in China it is
rare for the perpetrators of abhorrent crimes against journalists to face the
full force of the law,” IFJ General Secretary Aidan
Federation of Journalists urges China’s
authorities to promptly investigate the brutal assault of Fang Xuen Chang and ensure
the perpetrators are brought to justice quickly, upholding promises made by China’s leaders
to ensure the rights of journalists to report freely.”
a separate incident on June 25, three journalists from the Chongqing Morning Post were detained in Chongqing and interrogated by police for
allegedly posting “unacceptable content” on an online social chat room.
Yi, Chen Songbo and Qiu Jinyi first came under investigation by local police
after they posted some messages about a hotel that was shut down by the local
government on June 20. A journalist
informed the IFJ that Liao, Chen and Qiu had stated that the hotel’s closure
was due to illegal acts of prostitution occurring on the premises, and the
journalists were investigating the role of hotel shareholders in the alleged activities.
Chongqing Morning Post said on June
24 that no media workers had been detained, after rumours that one of the three
journalists had been sentenced to a labour re-education camp.
the detention and interrogation on June 25, Chen and Qiu were allowed to leave
but Liao is reported to be still under investigation.
so-called “unacceptable content” message has since been deleted from the chat
“Police attempting to extract
information from journalists by interrogating them is a violation of a free press
and is condemned by the IFJ,” White said.
“The journalists subjected to this
interrogation have a responsibility to protect their sources and the right to
freedom of expression, which is enshrined in Article 35 of China’s Constitution.”
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +612 9333 0919
represents more than 600,000 journalists in 125 countries