On their upwards and onwards march towards towards democracy China’s ‘Committee to protect journalists’ (we kid you not) has issued an edict that it’s illegal for journalists to now cover events it doesn’t see fit for consumption.
Committee to protect journalists: New York, March 3, 2011–Police threats to revoke foreign journalists’ visas and require advance permission for newsgathering are disturbing new efforts to restrict reporting on protests in China, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
Police told some foreign journalists they could lose their accreditation and residence permits if they conduct “illegal” reporting in parts of central Beijing and Shanghai without permission, according to Reuters and other international news reports.
And lest you wonder what happens when a journalist doesn’t heed the advice of the Committee to intimidate protect journalist, the below statement should offer you some concern hope.
Foreign journalists have also been harassed and detained in central Beijing for reporting on protests and sensitive political anniversaries, even since the improved regulations were introduced in 2007. But this week’s interference has been particularly severe and been accompanied by severe online censorship. Several bloggers and activists are have been arrested on suspicion of state subversion or report police surveillance, and malicious messages on Twitter target journalists and activists who discuss the proposed demonstrations, according to CPJ research
One day the yet to be created but future ‘Committee to protect mankind’ will look back at this edict and remark how liberal things used to be…