The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemns
attempts by officials in China
to obstruct contact between journalists and mourners ahead of the anniversary
of the 1989 Tiananmen Square
massacre on June 4.
vice-chairman of Independent PEN, told the IFJ he had been repeatedly obstructed
or prevented from making contact with journalists or people connected to
victims of the massacre.
On May 18, a security officer reportedly instructed
a café owner in Beijing to refuse service to
Jiang and a Hong Kong journalist to prevent an
interview from taking place. Despite changing locations,
the interview was watched by security personnel.
The incident occurred three days after Jiang reported his
house in Beijing had been ransacked and security personnel had detained and interrogated him for six
hours, following his writing of an article entitled “Report of June 4 Victims”
on May 15, intended for online publication.
On May 18, 1999, Jiang was arrested and subsequently sentenced
to four years’ jail for subverting state power, after he wrote and distributed articles commemorating
the victims of 1989. He
completed his prison sentence in November 2003.
“They are absolutely violating my freedom. I have rights to
move and rights to talk with anyone without any kind of harassment,” Jiang told
Meanwhile, well-known Beijing
dissident Zhang Zuhua and online writer Zan Aizong reported receiving warnings
security bureau in April to desist from writing about the June 4 anniversary.
In addition, Zhang Xianling,
a member of Tiananmen Mothers, a
group of democracy activists whose children were killed in 1989, said she also had
been warned two days before a May 17 memorial ceremony in Beijing not to invite media to participate in
or report on the ceremony.
“I don’t think they are correct by not allowing us to talk
with press since our assembly is legal,” Zhang said.
“The founder of Tiananmen Mothers, Ding Zilin, and her
husband have not shown up to the memorial event since they were ordered not to
participate and were followed by plain-clothes officers all day long,” Zhang
“Obstructions of this kind continue to hinder press freedom in
China and also deny families
their right to assemble and to grieve the tragedy of one of China’s significant historical
events,” IFJ General Secretary Aidan White
The IFJ urges China’s central government to
adhere to its repeatedly stated commitment to permitting greater freedom of the
press and of association .
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +612 9333 0919
represents over 600,000 journalists in
120 countries worldwide