IFJ calls for the immediate release of three journalists in Taipei

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the Association of Taiwan Journalist (ATJ) call for the immediate release of three journalists in Taipei, Taiwan. The IFJ calls on the Taiwan Government to uphold press freedom and order the immediate release of the journalists.

On July 24, a large group of Taiwanese students stormed the offices of the Ministry and Education, protesting against the new high-school curriculum guidelines. Liao Cheng-Hui, a journalist with Liberty Times, Song Siao-Hai from Coolloud and freelance journalist, Lin Yu-Yo were covering the protest and followed the students as they stormed the offices. Police quickly broke up the protest, detaining 33 protesters including the three journalists.

According to footage shot by Lin Yu-Yo, police tried to block the camera when he declared he was a journalist. During a scuffle with police, he also cried out that he was a journalist but it was ignored. According to Liao Cheing-Hui, police blocked the journalists from using their cell phones, preventing them from reporting on the protest.

The ATJ severely criticised the Police Bureau of Taipei for its actions and suppressing press freedom. The ATJ said: “It is unacceptable that the police did not take up their duties to assist and protect journalists according to their protocol. Ironically, they shirked their duties to Ministry of Education.”  

The IFJ Asia Pacific Office said: “The detainment of three journalists for simply covering a protest is deeply concerning and we urge the government to take immediate steps to ensure the release of the journalists. Journalists have rights and duties to report freely without fear of detainment or arrest.”

We demand the Taipei police immediate release the journalists. We urge Ko Wen-Je, Mayor of Taipei, to ensure the police implement its protocol to assist and protect the rights of journalists.

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0946 

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 134 countries

Find the IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific

Find the IFJ on Facebook: www.facebook.com/IFJAsiaPacific