Joseph Kahn, The New York Times
Roger Cohen, International Herald Tribune
Agents from the local police, Foreign Ministry office and Customs Department detained Kahn, The New York Times Beijing bureau chief, and International Herald Tribune reporter Roger Cohen while they were interviewing a businessman in Zigui, near the Three Gorges Dam in Hubei province. The agents questioned the two journalists about their reporting activities, confiscated their passports and asked them to write “confessions,” according to The New York Times. The two men were held for an hour before being released.
The harassment of the two reporters came one day after the Chinese government announced new regulations easing restrictions on foreign journalists reporting in China ahead of Beijing’s hosting the Olympic Games in 2008. Those regulations will go into effect from January 1, 2007 until October 17, 2008, after the Games end, and will allow foreign reporters to conduct interviews without permission from local authorities.