Qi Chonghuai

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New York, June 23, 2011--Authorities in Shandong should overturn a second prison sentence handed down to freelance journalist Qi Chonghuai just days before the end of his term, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Two of three Chinese journalists scheduled for release this month are out of jail. Artist Ai Weiwei was unexpectedly freed from extrajudicial detention on Wednesday

136 journalists jailed worldwide

As of December 1, 2009    |   » Read the accompanying report: "FREELANCERS UNDER FIRE"

In the year of the “One World, One Dream” Olympics, China’s punitive and highly restrictive press policies became a global issue. International reporters who arrived early to prepare for the Games flocked to cover antigovernment riots in Tibet and western provinces in March and the Sichuan earthquake in May. They encountered the sweeping official interference that resident journalists have long faced every day. Domestic news media, which by law must be sponsored by official government bodies, generally followed the government line on Tibetan and Olympic issues, although some newspapers and magazines distinguished themselves with breaking coverage of the earthquake and investigative reporting on local government corruption. Online writers who published more outspoken pieces were jailed on antistate charges.

Journalists in prison as of December 1, 2008

Read the accompanying report: "Online and in jail"

Amid the fanfare of the Olympic opening ceremony today, a press release from Human Rights in China highlights pressure on dissidents and their families as Chinese authorities try to quash anything that threatens to disturb the long-awaited Games. Police are watching jailed journalist Lu Gengsong's wife and daughter, and they told the wife of recently detained online activist Du Daobin to change her cell phone number and refuse calls, HRIC said. When CPJ called Du's home the day after he was detained, we were told the household had been warned not to talk to the foreign press.

To request a printed copy of this report, e-mail Development@cpj.org.

New York, May 13, 2008—Qi Chonghuai, a journalist in China’s Shandong province who had written critically about local officials, was sentenced today to four years in prison for fraud and extortion in a trial that lasted 12 hours, according to his wife and lawyers.

Access to the trial was limited, and reporters were not allowed to attend. It began at 9 a.m. and continued until 9:30 p.m., when the sentence was announced, according to Qi’s wife, Jiao Xia, and his defense lawyers, Li Xiongbing and Li Chunfu. Qi denied the charges.

In a year of internal political wrangling and further emergence on the global stage, Chinese leadership under President Hu Jintao showed a keen awareness of public opinion at home and abroad. But the result was not greater freedom for the press. The administration undertook a clumsy effort to woo the foreign press corps while simultaneously tightening control over the flow of information and commentary within China.
Detailed accounts of each imprisoned journalist.
New York, October 25, 2007—The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned for the safety of detained journalist Qi Chonghuai, who was beaten by police while in custody, according to his wife.

Qi has been detained at the Tengzhou Detention Center in the eastern province of Shandong since June 25 when police took him from his home, his wife Jiao Xia told CPJ. He was initially held for using a false press card, but was formally charged with extortion on August 2, according to his lawyer, Li Xiongbin. Qi denies the charge. During a visit on August 23 he told Jiao and Li that police had beaten him several times around the face and thrown water at him during an interrogation on August 13. Police told him that they could beat him as much as they liked, and call it suicide if he died, the lawyer told CPJ.    

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