Chinese reporter arrested following months of police harassment
June 4, 2007 12:00 PM ET
New York, June 4, 2007—A Nanjing-based reporter whose online video, audio, and written news reports had angered authorities is in police custody today along with his wife, according to his employer at the U.S.-based news Web site Boxun News. Following the May 30 arrest, police accused Sun Lin (known by his pen name Jie Mu) of illegally possessing weapons and heading a criminal gang.
"We are terribly concerned about the well-being of reporter Sun Lin and his wife He Fang," said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. "The documented harassment of Sun for his reporting makes us exceedingly skeptical of the criminal charges now lodged against him."
Sun began reporting for the banned Chinese-language Boxun News in September, its founder Watson Meng told CPJ. He had recently reported on a property dispute in the central Chinese city of Yangzhou, a murder in the northern city of Qinhuangdao (a venue of the 2008 Olympics), and a lawsuit lodged by a nongovernmental organization against Beijing authorities. Sun had also reported from North Korea on a huge abandoned building project.
In one of his most recent reports, from Tiananmen Square on May 25, Sun and fellow reporter Guang Yuan discussed Boxun's unsuccessful efforts to gain accreditation to cover the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Chinese citizens are forbidden from working as reporters for foreign news outlets. New regulations announced in relation to the Olympic Games give foreign correspondents a greater degree of freedom to travel and report the news in China.
On May 29, police raided the restaurant run by Sun's wife, He Fang, and arrested more than 20 people, mostly employees of the restaurant, Boxun reported. Sun interviewed 10 of them after their release. Plainclothes police seized Sun and He at their home at 7 p.m. the following day.
In online videos and audio recordings, Sun had documented police harassment related to his work as a reporter. On March 21, police came to his house in Nanjing to warn him to stop reporting. They said that he was working for an illegal news organization and did not have an officially issued press card. Boxun, which posted video of the police visit, is based in North Carolina and posts news from citizen contributors in China. It is blocked by Chinese authorities.
In mid-May, Sun reported that a Nanjing printing company refused to print more copies of name cards identifying him as a reporter for Boxun News. In a phone conversation, the printer said that police officers had visited the store twice to warn them not to print his cards.
After the May 30 detention, the official Nanjing Daily reported that Sun was accused of heading a criminal gang that had extorted money from taxi drivers, and that police recovered guns and ammunition from his home. The official report does not mention Sun's wife, who remains in custody despite earlier reports that she had been released, according to Boxun.
Chinese journalist arrested on charges of revealing state secrets
July 6, 2017 3:34 PM ET
Washington, D.C., July 6, 2017--Chinese authorities should drop all charges and immediately free Yang Xiuqiong, a contributor to the banned human rights news website 64 Tianwang, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today....
China's latest internet controls to stifle free expression
May 3, 2017 5:26 PM ET
Washington, D.C., May 3, 2017--The Committee to Protect Journalists strongly condemns China's move on Tuesday to impose yet more stringent controls on the media and free expression by requiring strict licensing requirements for virtually all forms of news distribution....
Hong Kong daily Sing Pao says its journalists and website are under attack
February 22, 2017 6:32 PM ET
New York, February 22, 2017--The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on Hong Kong authorities to investigate the harassment of journalists at the daily Sing Pao. Sing Pao Media Enterprises, which owns the paper, released a statement yesterday saying that staff have been followed and harassed, and that the...