International Federation of
Journalists (IFJ) Asia-Pacific is disturbed to learn of the detention and
interrogation of a group of journalists seeking to report on an anti-Japan
protest in Deyang, Sichuan province, in China.
protests have broken out in a number of cities in China
since October 23, over a territorial dispute regarding the Japan-administered Senkaku
Islands. About six foreign
journalists from NHK Japan, Japan’s
Sankei Shimbun newspaper and Reuters travelled to Deyang, arriving at a garden where one protest was scheduled.
Security Bureau officers promptly detained them, taking them to the local
Propaganda Department office.
colleagues, including the other media’s journalists, were detained for two
hours and then they were allowed to visit the garden,” said an NHK journalist, who
security officers then escorted the journalists to Chengdu airport before the protest began.
journalist told the IFJ that security officers demanded the journalists leave
on the grounds of “personal safety”.
journalists are permitted to conduct interviews with any individuals who
consent, under Article 17 of the Regulations of the People’s Republic of China
Concerning Reporting Activities of Permanent Offices of Foreign Media Organisations
and Foreign Journalists.
IFJ is concerned that the rights of journalists to report the news in China
have been undermined on the pretext of personal safety,” IFJ General Secretary Aidan White said.
is a critical issue for reporting in dangerous situations, but it is up to
journalists and their organisations to assess the risk of a situation, including
assessing the advice of security personnel.
this case, it is apparent that the officers were attempting to suppress
information regarding the protests in Deyang, thereby breaching China’s
regulations regarding foreign media.”
IFJ urges China’s
Central authorities to direct all provincial government and local security bureau
officers to permit all journalists to exercise their duties without restraint,
in accordance with the regulations for the foreign correspondents.
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +612 9333 0919
represents more than 600,000 journalists in 125 countries
IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific