Chinese Editor Dismissed for Online Comments



International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemns the decision to suspend,

and later dismiss, the Editor of a newspaper in southern China for

online comments deemed critical of the government.



Chen, 39, the Editor of the in-depth investigative news desk of the Guangdong-based

national newspaper, Southern Metropolitan

Newspaper, was suspended, and later forced to resign, from his position

because of online comments he made using the newspaper’s microblog account.



journalist told IFJ that Yu had mistakenly used the official account of the

newspaper’s Sina microblog to comment via his cell phone. Yu’s comment was made

in response to a post questioning whether China’s Ministry of National Defence should

serve the Chinese Communist Party or the country as a whole.



response was considered unacceptable and was immediately deleted from the microblog

account, as was the original message to which he had responded.



hard to know for sure the cause of Yu’s suspension”, a local journalist said. “However

the working environment in China is very difficult at present, because of a

number of recent sensitive cases and the upcoming holding of the 18th National

Congress of the Chinese Communist Party.”



is the first Chinese journalist to be forced to resign from a newspaper because

of comments made online. Another journalist, Li Delin, was previously punished by police in March after merely forwarding an online



“China cannot

enjoy true freedom when individuals can be punished for exercising their right

to freedom of expression”, IFJ Asia-Pacific Office said.



persist of individuals being punished for messages forwarded or created,

without any proper explanation being given as to which laws they have broken”.



IFJ urges China’s

authorities to respect the right of China’s citizens to express

themselves online.



IFJ also urges the Editor-in-Chief of the Southern

Metropolitan Newspaper to reconsider the decision to dismiss Yu Chen from his




further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0950 


The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131



Find the IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific


Find the IFJ on Facebook: