IFJ Denounces Suspension of Editor in China

The

International Federation of

Journalists (IFJ) is concerned that China’s Southern Metropolitan newspaper suspended an editor from work due

to pressure by the Guangdong Provincial Propaganda Department.

 

The

newspaper’s Forum Page editor, known as Zhu, was suspended on April 13 after

approving the publication of an article with the headline, “Love of Country is

not equal to Love of Government”.

 

According

to local reports, the article was a hot topic among Chinese web-users just

hours after it was posted online. Local media workers believe that the intense

cyber activity generated by the article was likely to have drawn attention from

cyber monitors and the country’s Propaganda Departments.

 

The

article was removed from online, and Southern

Metropolitan was forbidden by the Guangdong Provincial Propaganda

Department to publish any similar articles.

 

Zhu’s suspension recalls an incident

in March 2008 when another Southern

Metropolitan journalist was stood down after publishing an article that

discussed nationalism, just days after mass unrest in Tibet. He was dismissed following

pressure from the Central Propaganda Department.

 

“The IFJ urges media managers to

resist efforts by censors to intimidate and deter China’s journalists from pursuing

their professional prerogative,” IFJ General Secretary Aidan

White said.

 

“In bowing to pressure to punish Zhu

merely for doing his job as an editor, media managers as well as the propaganda

authorities are directly contravening China’s constitution, which guarantees

freedom of expression and freedom of the media.”

 

The IFJ calls on Southern Metropolitan to reinstate Zhu

immediately.

 

For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919

 

The IFJ

represents over 600,000 journalists in 125 countries worldwide