International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is deeply concerned by reports an officer of the Chinese Government threatened
to illegally detain a journalist on October 9.
The unnamed journalist was investigating
irregularities in tendering for government services managed by the Municipal
Government Procurement Centre of Haikou City, the capital of Hainan
Province in Southern
According to the Xinhua News Agency, the Haikou
Procurement Centre had selected an underqualified software corporation for a
government project in Hainan
Province, despite quoting
a price three
times higher than any of the rival bidders and lacking experience in providing the
service. The successful corporation, Xinghai
Lida Software Corporation Ltd, also failed to produce a software corporation
certificate or proper records of social insurance payments, which were formal
requirements of the bidding process.
When asked for an interview Haikou Government Procurement Centre DirectorCai Donghai, refused the journalist’s request, threatening to “lock the reporter in a
According to Section 6 of the Code of Access to Government
Information, the Chinese Government has a duty to disclose procurements for
service, contract standards and progress of government funded projects.
“Access to information regarding government use of
public funds is a basic right of all citizens,” the IFJ
“Governments must learn that harassment of
journalists holding governments accountable for the protection of such rights
is never acceptable.”
This is thesecondreported case of the harassment of a journalist by Chinese governmentofficials in recent weeks.
On September 22, Ji Xuguang, an investigative journalist for China’s Southern
Metropolis Daily, published a report about civil servant Li
Hao being charged with the kidnap and imprisonment of six women in an
underground bunker for the purposes of sexual slavery.
Immediately after publishing his report, Ji was approached by two
unidentified men representing local police. He claims he was threatened and
interrogated for details of the source of his information, and for revealing
The IFJ urges Hainan Governor Luo Baoming to investigate
the report and take appropriate action to punish any official found to be
intimidating or threatening journalists.
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +612 9333 0919
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