The Foreign Correspondent Clubs of Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong have issued a joint statement expressing alarm at the nature and frequency of “incidents in which international journalists have been threatened, harassed and even beaten while gathering news in China”.
“We are particularly concerned that a number of these incidents have involved members of the official security forces and associated elements,” the statement added. “We call on the authorities at all levels to ensure that journalists are protected from violence and intimidation.”
The incidents mentioned in the statement are as follows:
On July 28th, a Shanghai based journalist from Japan’s Asahi Shimbun was beaten by police in Nantong while covering a demonstration. His equipment, worth several thousand dollars, was taken and has not been returned.
On August 10th a reporter for Hong Kong’s Asia Television was assaulted by plain clothes police outside a courthouse in Hefei as he filmed members of the public being arrested.
On August 11th, in Henan province a television crew from ARD German television was attacked by a mob, accused of being spies and forcibly detained for 9 hours at a chemical factory before police escorted them to their vehicles.
On August 13th two reporters from Poland and the United States reporting in Ordos were followed and intimidated by three cars and at least eight individuals in the middle of the night.