IFJ Demands Explanation for Detention of Hong Kong Journalists

The International

Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemns the unexplained detention of two Hong Kong journalists

by local police at a Sichuan

hotel yesterday.


A journalist, who wishes to remain

anonymous, told the IFJ that two Beijing-based journalists who work for the

Hong Kong-based Now Television broadcaster were detained by police at their

hotel in the early morning as they were leaving to report

on the court case of poet, writer and environmental activist Tan Zuoren.


Tan is charged with inciting

subversion of state power. According to Amnesty International,

it is believed that Tan’s detention is linked to reporting on the May 2008 Sichuan earthquake.


A police officer reportedly approached

the journalists claiming to be investigating a complaint that they were in

possession of drugs and other prohibited

goods. Several policeofficers then searched their rooms, the

source told the IFJ.


Despite the search yielding no

evidence, the journalists were held for several hours and police demanded they

delete images on their cameras. After a complaint

was filed at the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs

Office of the State Council, the journalists were released and the police left

the hotel.


“The aim of police of Sichuan is obviously to

try to block all media from covering the court case,” a colleague of the

detained journalists said.



statement issued by Now TV called on the Hong Kong

and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council to explain the reasons for the detention.


Reports of police attacking and

detaining several supporters of Tan, including avant-garde artist and

high-profile critic of China’s

government Ai Weiwei, were also reported by the Associated Press.


“Attempts by local authorities to

prevent local and international coverage of Tan’s court case or indeed any

court case are an obstruction of the journalists’ freedom of movement as well

as censorship,” IFJ General Secretary Aidan White



For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919



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