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

 

State Secrecy Laws Used to Intimidate Journalists in China

September 27, 2011

State Secrecy Laws Used to Intimidate Journalists in China

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is deeply concerned by the misuse of state secrecy laws to harass and intimidate a Chinese journalist investigating the arrest of a civil servant in Luoyang, in eastern China.

On September 22, Ji Xuguang, an investigative journalist for China’s Southern Metropolis Daily, published a report about civil servant Li Hao being charged with the kidnap and imprisonment of six women in an underground bunker for the purposes of sexual slavery. Li, 34, an official with Luoyang City's Quality and Technical Supervision Bureau, is also accused of murdering two of the six women.

Immediately after publishing his report, Ji was approached by two unidentified men representing local police. He claims he was threatened and interrogated for details of the source of his information, and for revealing state secrets. Ji has refused to talk publicly about the case after receiving a phone call from police at midnight on September 25.

Ji’s mistreatment follows the murder of another Luoyang journalist, Li Xiang, who died early on September 19 after being stabbed 13 times. Although local police have concluded the motive was robbery, Li’s colleagues maintain the attack was related to his investigations into the illegal production of cooking oil in the city.

On September 24, the same day that Li Hao was charged, Luoyang Police Commissioner Guo Congbin made a general apology to the city’s population acknowledging that community safety patrols were weak, and police officers had lost their sense of responsibility. However, in his apology Guo did not clarify why the case may have been classified as a state secret, and said only that communication between police and the media needs to be improved.

Ji’s source has subsequently alleged that local police considered details of the charges against the civil servant state secrets out of fears that the negative publicity would jeopardise Luoyang’s chances in the competition to be named China’s most civilised city.

Under Article 9 (6) of China’s Guarding State Secrets Act, any activity maintaining national security and investigating criminal offences can be classified as a state secret.

“China’s Ministry of Public Security must take measures to ensure that all police and government officials do not use the Guarding State Secrets Act to harass or intimidate journalists working in China,” IFJ Asia-Pacific said.

The IFJ urges the Luoyang Police Commissioner Guo to conduct a special investigation into the harassment and intimidation of journalists in the city, and for the findings of the investigation to be made public.

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

 

Julian Assange : Extradition Case Finally Heading To Court

Julian Assange's extradition case is finally heading to court – here's what to expect More>>

ALSO:

India: Trump Visits Modi And Announces $3 Billion Arms Deal

U.S. President Donald Trump got a warm welcome from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to kick off a whirlwind 36-hour tour of the world's largest democracy and announced the two countries were finalizing a $3 billion arms deal. More>>

  • Common Dreams - In Shadow of Trump's India Visit, Muslim Attacks in Delhi
  • NZ Govt - New Zealand And India To Strengthen Ties
  • NZ Govt - Foreign And Trade Ministers To Visit India
  • Migrant Workers Association - Unite Against Fascism In India
  • India NZ Business Council - ‘India Unplugged’ draws NZ, India business leaders
  • Gordon Campbell: On Bernie Sanders’ Presidential Bid

    Bernie Sanders’ campaign for the Democratic nomination is taking on an air of inevitability, and that likelihood has been met with elation by some people, and feelings of dread in others... More>>

    ALSO:


    Crisis and Opportunity: The ‘Deal of the Century’

    After several postponements, US President, Donald Trump, has finally revealed the details of his Middle East plan, dubbed ‘Deal of the Century’, in a press conference in Washington on January 28. More>>

    ALSO:

    Gordon Campbell: On The Iran Aftermath

    So, evidently, you can get away with murder. It looks as though a further escalation in the ongoing war between Iran and the US has been avoided – mainly thanks to Iran NOT responding in kind to the recklessly unhinged behaviour by the United States. ... More>>

    ALSO: