Media Release: China
International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is frustrated to learn that three journalists in China have been detained by police, prevented
from reporting on the misdeeds of some Government officials, or put under
pressure to leave their jobs.
Chen Baocheng, a journalist with the Caixin media
group, was allegedly detained by police in Pingdu, Shandong Province, on August
10 on the accusation that he had falsely imprisoned an unidentified person when
he (Chen) was fighting against illegal land evictions in his home town. Caixin
media group has asked the police to admit that Chen was detained, but the police
denied detaining him and did not give any further explanation, saying that they
did not receive Caixin’s request because the police facsimile machine was
a separate case, Yang Qiongwen, of the NanDao
Evening Post, was forced to resign on August 6 after he alleged that a
primary school headmaster and an official of the Wanning
Housing Administrative Bureau in Hainan Province had been involved in the rape of
six girl students in an inn in May.
to Yang’s microblog and some Mainland reports, Yang received a call from the
Bureau on the day the article was published on the
newspaper. The caller from the Bureau said he should not have reported on such a
“sensitive” case. The following day, Yang received another call in which the caller threatened to force him leave the newspaper, no matter
how difficult it was.
August 6, the senior management of the newspaper told Yang to prepare a
resignation letter. The next day, a staff member of the newspaper confirmed that
the Bureau had put pressure on the newspaper’s senior management. The
newspaper originally supported Yang in his reporting of the case.
journalist, Gao Qinrong, formerly of Shanxi
Youth Daily, said he received a death threat after he exposed a syndicate
involving the Ministry of Finance Bureau of Yuncheng City, Shanxi Province, which was
involved in corruption and abuse of power.
August 4, Gao disclosed in his microblog that his informant received
a death threat from unidentified people, who
warned his source to stop giving Gao any information about the syndicate. The unidentified people
said that if the source did not stop giving Gao information, members of Gao’s
and his source’s families would be killed.
said: “There is no hatred between me and any Government officials, but this is
clearly retaliation after I published their wrong doings. But I will not give
up and will insist on continuing to disclose their abuse of power, because this
is the duty of a journalist.”
who was imprisoned for eight years after reporting on a fraudulent irrigation
project in Shanxi in 1998, has asked his source to file a complaint to the
police. He said he is now on the alert for possible attacks when he leaves his
IFJ Asia Pacific Office said: “This is a typical case of retaliation against
the media, which is common on the Mainland. Any retaliation should be condemned,
in particular those threats which have clearly jeopardised
press freedom and the law.”
urge the Police Bureaus of Hainan, Shanxi and Shandong to
investigate the cases and report to the public.
also urge the All Chinese Journalists Association to carry out its duty to
investigate the three cases and defend the journalists’ rights, as well as
to defend press freedom in China, which is enshrined in Article 35 of China’s Constitution.
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0950
The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131
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