A spate of recent physical confrontations between foreign media and local Chinese security forces has created problems for journalists to perform their news-gathering duties in China.
The Foreign Correspondents' Club of China, the Shanghai Foreign Correspondents' Club, and the Foreign Correspondents' Club in Hong Kong issued a joint communique that stated:
"On July 28th, a Shanghai based journalist from Japan's Asahi Shimbun was beaten by police in Nantong while covering a demonstration. His equipment, worth several thousand dollars, was taken and has not been returned. On August 10th a reporter for Hong Kong's Asia Television was assaulted by plain clothes police outside a courthouse in Hefei as he filmed members of the public being arrested. On August 11th, in Henan province a television crew from ARD German television was attacked by a mob, accused of being spies and forcibly detained for 9 hours at a chemical factory before police escorted them to their vehicles. On August 13th two reporters from Poland and the United States reporting in Ordos were followed and intimidated by three cars and at least eight individuals in the middle of the night."
The FCCC, Shanghai FCC, and the FCC Hong Kong say they are alarmed by the nature and frequency of these incidents and the clear risk of serious physical harm to journalists carrying out their professional duties in China.
The groups call on the authorities at all levels to ensure that journalists are protected from violence and intimidation in China.