Reporters Roughed Up Near China Activist’s Home (Updated)
Following last week’s release of a secretly-filmed video of activist Chen Guangcheng, foreign journalists have been forcibly prevented from visiting him at his home in Shandong, where he is under house arrest. From AFP:
“We were roughly pushed away from Chen’s home,” said Brice Pedroletti, a journalist with French newspaper Le Monde.
“There were first six strong thugs and eventually about one dozen,” he said.
Stephane Lagarde, a journalist with Radio France Internationale, said thugs at Chen’s village of Dongshigu in the city of Linyi also seized the memory card of his digital recorder and his China reporter credentials.
One man threatened to hit him with a brick.
“These peasants from the area are recruited for this type of purpose and repelled us very forcefully,” he said, while adding he was not beaten.
[...] “It is impossible that our police would hire people to beat journalists. Journalists are free to go and interview him (Chen),” said the woman, who gave only her surname, Gao.
However, activists say Chen’s village has been under virtual lockdown since his release last year, guarded by a round-the-clock team of police and thugs.
Update: CNN has posted footage of its correspondents being harassed by thugs as they try to report from Chen’s village: