The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has strongly criticised the latest restrictive order issued by the Central Propaganda Department on June 13, 2017. The IFJ calls on the Chinese government to take immediate steps to end its attack on press freedom in China.According to reports, on June 13, the Central Propaganda Department issued a restrictive order regarding the reporting on the detention of the Anbang Insurance Group chairperson. On June 13. Wu Xiaohui, the chairperson of Anbang was detained under investigation by the China Insurance Regulatory Commission. Caijing, a Mainland-based outlet, was the first to report on Wu’s detention, and the report was republished by several other Mainland outlets. However, shortly after the order was issued, all the reports were taken offline. It is unclear who took the reports done.As is common after restrictive orders are issued, the Central Propaganda Department would not make a statement or comment on the order. They also did not confirm if the restrictive order was issued.In a statement on June 13, Anbang Insurance Group said that Wu was ‘temporarily unable to fulfil his role for personal resons’.According to the original Caijing report, Wu, the husband of the granddaughter of Deng Xiaoping, China’s prominent leader in the 1980s, was the chairperson of Anbang, one of the largest insurance companies in China since it was established in 2004.According to other reports, Anbang had taken savings from Chinese people and invested the money overseas in recent years. It is reported that several of the deals that Anbang conducted had created a relationship between Wu and Stephan Chwarzman, a close business advisor toThe IFJ Asia Pacific Office said: “The growing use of restrictive orders by the Chinese government to control the media is also have detrimental impacts on the free flow of information across China. The Government has a responsible to be accountable to the people, and yet these orders, often released in secret only raise questions about the government's intervention.”We urge the Central Propaganda Department to make a clarification whether they had issued a restrictive order demanding the removal of the reports.
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