Jinping, Vice President of China
Premier of China
Jianzhu , the Minister of Public
Jufeng , Governor of Sichuan Province
Qinghua , Director of Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of
the State Council
RE: Detention of Media
Workers in Sichuan Hotel
Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is deeply concern about the unexplained and
prolonged detention of two Hong Kong journalists who were in Sichuan province to report on the trial of Tan
Zuoren on August 12.
The Beijing-based journalist and cameraman, who work for Now Television,
were detained by police at their hotel in the early morning as they attempted
to go to the court to hear the case of Tan,
who is charged with inciting subversion of state power.
The IFJ received information that police initially claimed
they had detained the media workers in relation to a complaint that they were
in possession of prohibited goods. The allegation was changed shortly after to
say the pair was alleged to be involved in possession of drugs.
The IFJ also learnt that the police failed to produce
identity cards or a search warrant to justify the media workers’ detention.
This is a violation of requirements under sections 110 and 111of Chapter 5 of the Criminal
Procedure Law which asserts that all police officers must produce their
identity card and search warrant based on evidence of the allegation before conducting a
search except in an emergency situation.
Despite a fruitless search over several hours, the police refused to free the journalists from
their rooms. The journalists were released and the police left the premises
without explanation around 1pm the same day.
The journalists filed a complaint with the Hong
Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council.
respectfully reminds Vice-President Xi Jinping and Premier Wen Jiaobao that the treatment of these two
journalists by the Sichuan police is a serious
violation of the principles of press freedom and freedom of movement enshrined
The IFJ calls on Premier Wen to urge the Minister of China’s
Security Bureau and the Governor of Sichuan Government to conduct an
investigation into this incident and publicly report the investigation results.
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