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Open Letter to Central Government on the interference of news coverage of Ming Pao reporter in China

The Hong Kong Journalists’ Association and the International Federation of Journalists note with dismay the interference of news coverage in the Chinese capital by a Hong Kong reporter and the confiscation of his digital camera card on Friday. 
The reporter was doing a job he was used to, taken for granted by the people and by officials – covering news about the financial market. He was covering an embezzlement case involving 170 million yuan from the China Commodity Spot Exchange, and was photographing the crowd outside a brokerage - out in the street - when two or three policemen approached him and confiscated his camera.
The camera was subsequently left on a counter inside Exchange. On retrieving it, the reporter found the card missing and demanded its return. He was ignored.
A report was lodged with the Central Government authorities, including the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office.
Officials subsequently remonstrated with the policemen but they merely laughed it off.
Coming only a day after Politburo Standing Committee member Li Changchun assured the world’s media, in the strongest terms yet, that there would be no interference with the media’s coverage of the Olympic Games and other news in China, this incident suggests that full control of the situation may not rest entirely with those high officials who are confident of the Hong Kong and international media.
We therefore urge, in the strongest possible terms, a full and open explanation from the relevant authorities about this incident and immediately return the digital camera card confiscated by the public security officers to Ming Pao.
Hong Kong Journalists’ Association
International Federation of Journalists
16/07/2008 19:04   updated more
Previous: Concerning Assault on HKBN TV News Photographer (Chinese Only)
Next: Second Open Letter to Central Government concerning HK reporter denied entry to Beijing



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