Central Propaganda Department continues to suppress media in Mainland China

 

Media Release: China                                                                                                                                      

January 11, 2013

 

The

International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemns directives made by the Central

Propaganda Department to mainstream media to republish editorials of the

Department-mouth-piece, the Global Times and the threats made against citizens found to be involved with or commenting

publicly on the Southern Weekly Magazine protests.

 

According

to reports in the Hong Kong-based newspaper Ming

Pao, a Beijing-based newspaper the Beijing

News Daily and the Chang Sha-based newspaper Xiao Xiang Chen Bao were asked to republish the editorial of the Global Times in support of the Authority

on January 8. The Global Times, has

repeatedly defended the Authority after the Southern

Weekly incident, accusing activists outside Mainland China of

instigating the protests. On January 8 the Global

Times stated “China's media policy needs reform, but media reform should be in

line with China's

politics.” 

 

According

to the Beijing News Daily the Beijing Provincial Propaganda Department threatened to close the paper when

its Editor-in-Chief refused to carry out the directive issued by Central Propaganda Department. While the Chinese government has a

history of issuing directives to media outlets to republish articles in support

of the Authority, this is the first time a news outlet has reported being

threatened with closure if they did not comply.

 

In

addition, the IFJ has learned that many protestors, media

workers and activists have

been interrogated, threatened and detained following the Southern Weekly Magazine protests.

According to reports, prominent blogger and member of the Chinese Pen, Ye Du,

was strip-searched and interrogated by the Guangzhou Police on 7 January for

seven hours because he had broadcast the protest on Weibo. He remains under

house arrest and his Weibo account has been shut down.

 

"It is very disappointing to see China’s

government threatening and punishing citizens and media outlets who are viewed

as not serving the interests of the Party” said the IFJ.

The International Federation of

Journalists (IFJ) urgesCommunist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping to lift the restrictive

directive which prevents the media from fulfilling its duty to report openly

and in the public interest to uphold freedom of expression as a basic human

right.   

Media organizations including the Hong Kong

Journalists Association, the Macau Journalists Association, Taiwan Journalists

Association and the Australian Media and Entertainment Alliance issued

statements in support of the protests.

 

 

    

For

further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0950 

 

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131

countries

 

Find the IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific

 

Find the IFJ on Facebook: www.facebook.com/IFJAsiaPacific