Media Release: China
January 11, 2013
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.
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
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.
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
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.
further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0950
The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131
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