IFJ Demands Macau Explain Block on Journalist

 

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) calls on China’s authorities to explain why security

personnel refused to grant a photographer from Hong Kong entry to Macau on February 18.

 

Felix Wong, a photographer with the South China Morning Post, told the IFJ that he was barred from

entering Macau by a security officer who

claimed he was in breach of the Internal Security Law of Macau. The security

officer was unable to clarify which sections of the law were breached.

 

Wong is an accredited journalist who was travelling to Macau to report on a court hearing involving Ao Man-long,

the former Minister for Transport and Public Works of Macau, who in 2008 was

sentenced to 27 years’ jail on criminal charges. 

 

Wong said the refusal to let him into Macau

was “without rhyme or reason”. “I was even able to enter China after I had been detained by police in China when a

scuffle broke out during the Games in 2008.” 

 

The South China

Morning Post said it was deeply concerned about the case and has demanded

an apology.

 

On February 16, the IFJ and 23 affiliated and partner organisations

sent a formal letter to the President of China, Hu Jintao, voicing concerns and

seeking an explanation about newly implemented rules requiring non-Mainland

journalists, including those from Hong Kong and Macau,

to provide evidence of prior consent from potential interviewees in order to

gain permission to visit the Mainland.

 

The joint letter called on China’s Central Government to

maintain all media freedoms that were promised and in practice before and

during the 2008 Olympic Games, including regulations covering non-Mainland

media.

 

“According to Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human

Rights, everyone has the right to freedom of movement within the borders of

each State without discrimination,” IFJ General Secretary Aidan White said.

 

The IFJ reiterates the message from the 23 Asia-Pacific organisations

to demand that China’s Central

Government desist from using immigration restrictions to complicate or prevent media

personnel from any country or territory from reporting in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

 

For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919

 

The IFJ

represents over 600,000 journalists in

120 countries worldwide