“Police threats to revoke foreign journalists’ visas and require advance permission for newsgathering are disturbing new efforts to restrict reporting on protests in China,” the Committee to Protect Journalists said on Thursday.
“Police told some foreign journalists they could lose their accreditation and residence permits if they conduct ‘illegal’ reporting in parts of central Beijing and Shanghai without permission, according to Reuters and other international news reports. Some journalists reported being told that advance consent would be required for any filming in China going forward. The warnings were given to journalists from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, the BBC, and other news outlets, in meetings held Wednesday and today, according to international news reports.
“Wangfujing, a downtown shopping street in Beijing, and a section of Shanghai near the People’s Square, were apparently ruled off-limits because of unsigned online calls for Sunday afternoon protests in Chinese cities modeled on recent popular uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa, according to the reports. Turnout in response to the calls, which were first issued February 19, has been weak. Yet police and plainclothed security officials flooded Wangfujing last Sunday, detaining at least a dozen foreign journalists and injuring two.
“The order contravenes regulations issued in advance of the Beijing Olympics in 2008 that allow foreign reporters to interview any consenting subject.”
• Jerry Large, Seattle Times: Clear view of China from Tibet
• Louisa Lim, NPR: China Cracks Down On Reporters, Potential Protesters
• Reuters: China tightens reporting noose on foreign media
• Matthew Robertson, Epoch Times: Caribbean Journalists Courted by Chinese Regime: Junkets seek to change coverage of authoritarian state