China Censors Human Rights Dialogue with US

The International

Federation of Journalists (IFJ) notes with concern that authorities in China censored online reporting about human

rights discussions between the United States

and China

last week.


A two-day closed-door meeting

between China diplomats and US officials in Washington began on May 13, signalling

the re-opening of dialogue between the two powers on human rights, racism and

related internal unrest such as protests by ethnic Tibetans and Uyghur peoples.


The State Council Information Office

of China directed all online media outlets on the mainland not to post reports relating

to the bilateral talks on the front pages of news sites. The order also directed

that all content about the talks be “correctly” reported.


The directive did not elaborate on

the meaning of “correctly”. However, local sources say China’s media did not report on points raised by

the US delegation which were

related to China’s human

rights reputation, including Tibet,

religious freedom and internet censorship.


“This kind of international dialogue

is promising, but it is ironic that talks between the US and China

on issues pertaining to press freedom and freedom of expression have been censored

in China,”

IFJ General Secretary Aidan White



In recent weeks, the State Council

Information Office opened a new bureau for monitoring social networking sites

and online forums. The move includes initiating a formal identification process

for people wishing to post content online.


The IFJ calls on China’s authorities to honour China’s constitutional guarantees

to provide citizens with an open and diverse media, supported by the unhindered

work of journalists, whether online or in traditional media.


For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919



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