Federation of Journalists (IFJ) calls on China’s
Central Government to ensure that local and foreign journalists are permitted
to report on all events in the lead-up to China’s National Day on October 1.
According to news reports in Japan, three journalists from Kyodo
News were assaulted by unidentified people for taking photographs on September
18 of rehearsals for the National Day military parade. The group reportedly
stormed the journalists’ Beijing
hotel room without warning, physically assaulted the journalists and destroyed
their computers by throwing them onto the ground.
The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China said its members
also reported receiving warnings not to interview people or take photographs in
and around Tiananmen Square in the weeks
before the anniversary.
“We received a warning after we filmed the parade on the
first day of rehearsal,” a cameraman told the IFJ. “They didn’t even allow us
to stand behind windows to take photos.”
In a separate incident, three journalists from NHK Japan Broadcasting
were prevented from interviewing online journalist Liu Feivue in Suizhou, Hubei,
on September 17. Liu told the IFJ he was harassed by unidentified people who
urged him not to grant the interview.
Meanwhile, Beijing-based BBC reporter Michael Bristow said
in a news report that Chinese officials were undermining a “zero distance”
pledge made by the Press Department of the State Council Information Office on
August 13. The pledge stated that all questions submitted to government
officials would be answered within 24 hours.
Bristow reportedly submitted a series of questions to
various government departments about the National Day celebrations but received
no reply or was not provided with adequate information.
“Systematic harassment of and impediments
for local and foreign media personnel belie promises by China’s authorities to permit the
development of a more open media culture. The IFJ urges authorities at all
levels to resist the historic tendency to impede the media and instead promote
the transparency that serves freedom of expression and association,” IFJ
General Secretary Aidan White said.
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +612 9333 0919
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries worldwide