China - Authorities restrict coverage of Hunan province bridge collapse

    MONTREAL, Aug. 17 /CNW Telbec/ - Reporters Without Borders condemns the
government's decision to restrict reporting of the collapse of a bridge in
Fenghuang, a city much frequented by tourists in the southern province of
Hunan. According to foreign news agencies, the Propaganda Department ordered
the Chinese media to reduce their coverage of the event. News organisations
are said to have pulled their reporters out of Fenghuang immediately.
    Reports are still available on the rescue operation, but they all come
from government media, above all the news agency Xinhua.
    Reporters Without Borders also deplores the fact that five Chinese
journalists were hit by unidentified individuals (probably linked to the local
authorities) while interviewing the relatives of victims of the disaster, in
which more than 40 people were killed and dozens are missing. Those attacked
include Wang Weijian of People's Daily and reporters working for Nanfang Dushi
Bao and Liaowang Oriental Weekly. A local Propaganda Department official
apologised for the violence but threatened to prosecute journalists for
"illegal reporting."

For further information:

For further information: Emily Jacquard, Directrice générale, Reporters
Without Borders, (514) 521-4111, Cell: (514) 258-4208, Fax: (514) 521-7771,,;

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