World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Wukan: Internet Shut Down and Foreign Journalists Expelled

December 19, 2011

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemns the shutting down of internet services by Chinese authorities and the forced expulsion of journalists covering protests in Wukan village, in Lufeng County in China’s southern Guangdong Province.

On December 18, a number of journalists, including the Hong Kong-based Cable Television journalist Lam Kin-Seng and his three colleagues and three journalists from the Japanese national public broadcaster NHK, were forced to leave Lufeng County by Chinese government officials. The excuse given for the journalists’ removal was ‘personal safety’.

Lam has said he was stopped by five or six plain-clothes police as he was about to leave a restaurant, where he had written an article. They asked him to leave Wukan because the “village has internal conflict” and “for protection of his personal safety”. Despite Lam’s insistence that he felt no threat to his safety, he was encircled by police and forced to leave. Officials from propaganda departments of Lufeng county and Guangdong Province were also present.

Some foreign media, including the UK Daily Telegraph, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), New York Times and Agence France-Presse are still able to report from Wukan, though their movements have been restricted by the heavy police presence.

IFJ sources said local internet service providers received an order from authorities to shut down all internet services in Wukan village today. This response is similar to the approach taken by the Chinese government in response to riots in Xinjiang province in July 2009. In that case, the Xinjiang Government shut down all internet and telephone services within the province, effectively isolating the population.

Protests in Wukan were initially sparked by the discovery that 500 hectares of village land had been sold to developers without any compensation being paid, and by allegations of political interference in the election of village representatives. The situation escalated with the death of Xue Jinbo, who died in police custody on DATE after three days of detention.

More than a thousand police have surrounded Wukan village, after protesters barricaded themselves in the village in response to Xue’s death. It is reported that the villagers are now facing food shortages, as the siege enters its second week.

Xue’s family members suspect that he was beaten to death, as he suffered multiple bone fractures and extensive bruising. However, government officials maintain that Xue died of a heart attack, based on an autopsy conducted by the Zhongshan University forensics medical center.

Reporting in the Chinese media of events in Wukan was censored immediately following Xue’s death. The only published reports have reproduced information from an article which appeared in Xinhua, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, on December 14. The English-language edition of an official Chinese Communist Party news portal, Global Times, was the only media outlet to report the case the next day.

“‘Personal safety’ continues to be used as an excuse by Chinese authorities to prevent journalists from reporting on politically sensitive issues in mainland China,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.

“For many journalists investigating stories of great public interest, such as the events in Wukan, the greatest threat is not from protestors but from the authorities themselves.”

The IFJ demands Chinese authorities rescind any order restricting internet access in Wukan.

The IFJ also calls for Premier Wen Jiabao to honour his promises on press freedom made after the Olympic Games, where the State Council of China issued new regulations stating clearly that all overseas, Hong Kong and Taiwanese media had the right to report freely in China with the consent of the interviewees.


The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries

Find the IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific

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

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Ban Condemns Killing Of Former Lesotho Military Commander

United Nations Secretary-General today condemned the killing of Lt. Gen. Maaparankoe Mahao, former Commander of the Lesotho Defence Force, on 25 June, near Maseru. More>>

Ban Welcomes US Supreme Court Ruling On Same-Sex Marriage

Ban welcomes US Supreme Court ruling guaranteeing right to same-sex marriage Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) pride march. Photo: OHCHR/Joseph Smida More>>

UN Agency Welcomes EU Measures On Refugee Arrivals

Afghan refugees in front of the abandoned hotel Captain Elias on Kos Island, Greece, where hundreds of refugees and migrants are waiting for their registration. Photo: UNHCR/J. Akkash More>>

Increase In Voluntary Blood Donors Can Save Millions Of Lives

Increase in voluntary blood donors can save millions of lives, UN health agency says on World Day More>>

Kenya: Funding Shortage Means Food Cut To 500,000 Refugees

Funding shortage forces UN agency to temporarily cut food aid to 500,000 refugees in Kenya More>>

UN Launches Education Appeal In Fight Against Child Labour

12 June 2015 – The United Nations has announced it is marking the 2015 edition of the World Day Against Child Labour with a call for the international community to invest in quality education as a key step in the fight against child employment ... More>>

Pope Francis & UN Agency On Sustainability Of Agriculture

Pope Francis (centre) with delegates to the 39th FAO Conference during a special audience at the Vatican. Photo: FAO More>>

South Sudan: Call For De-Escalation Of In-Country Conflict

Women and children have suffered devastating attacks in South Sudan’s Unity State. Photo: UNICEF/South Sudan/Sebastian Rich More>>

Burundi: Emergency Support To Refugees Fleeing Burundi Crisis

Burundians fleeing pre-election violence rest on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in the Democratic Republic of Congo after a gruelling 22-hour boat journey. More than 100,000 Burundians have fled over the past month, arriving in Tanzania, Rwanda and ... More>>

Afghanistan: Commitment To Advancing Women's Rights

While the outgoing senior United Nations rights official in Afghanistan said she expected the human rights advances made “will be sustained, will not be rolled back, and will not be sacrificed,” she lamented the high level of violence against ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news