Wednesday, March 02, 2011

TFCC appalled by treatment of foreign journalists in China

As China continues its crackdown on foreign reporters who are trying to do their job, the Taiwan Foreign Correspondents Club called Beijing to account

The Taiwan Foreign Correspondents Club (TFCC) yesterday said it was “concerned” and “appalled” by the violent measures used by the Chinese security apparatus against foreign journalists reporting planned anti-government protests in Beijing at the weekend.

Amid sporadic calls for political reform throughout China inspired by the “Jasmine Revolution” in Tunisia and public revolts across northern Africa and parts of the Middle East, Beijing in the past week launched a major security clampdown on a number of cities.

“At least one video journalist who was trying to do his job on Sunday was beaten by plainclothes policemen who confiscated his camera and videotape,” the TFCC wrote. “More than a dozen journalists in the area had problems, including being manhandled, pushed, detained and delayed by uniformed police and others.”

Among them were several Taiwanese and Hong Kong journalists, who were also detained, it said. The Liberty Times reported on Monday that two Taiwanese reporters with SET TV were taken away by police for questioning, one of whom, a photographer, had to by dragged by policemen.

“The TFCC, on behalf of its members, condemns such violence and calls on the Beijing government to ensure the safety of all reporters and their staff in China,” the release said. “We call on the Taiwan government and ... [P]resident [Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九)] to denounce such attacks.”

“We note with relief that journalists in Taiwan are now generally not subject to government interference when covering protests, such as the most recent ones on February 28 [the 64th anniversary of the 228 Incident],” it said.

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