Move to Arrest Journalist Sparks Backlash in China – Edward Cody

The Washington Post covers the story of journalist Zhu Wenna, who was followed to Beijing by local officials from Liaoning in an attempt to arrest him for a story that was critical of the local party secretary:

On Tuesday, as word of the case filtered out, it prompted national attention, with the news media crying foul and many other Chinese using the Internet to voice their displeasure.

Editorials in the Beijing press said the officials, from Xifeng county, had abused their power. Even the party’s official propaganda organ, People’s Daily, ran a signed editorial suggesting that the way to deal with libel accusations is to go to court rather than use heavy-handed “administrative power.”

The attempt to arrest the reporter was an uncomfortable reminder of the degree to which local Communist Party officials and their police, in the absence of an independent judicial system, routinely exercise power without legal restraints. But the outcry from editorialists and online commentators also showed that the Chinese public’s willingness to accept such untrammeled power may be diminishing. [Full text]

ESWN has translated an interview with journalist Zhu Wenna and China Media Project has also written about the incident here. See also a previous Reuters report via CDT.

January 9, 2008 10:43 AM
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