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China detains 15 foreign journalists
Published on 7 Mar. 2011 12:11 AM IST
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Police in Shanghai detained at least 15 foreign journalists who were trying to report a weekly anti-government “strolling” protest Sunday, two of the journalists said.
Two journalists said police detained them mid-afternoon outside Shanghai’s Peace Cinema where anonymous online organisers called for weekly “Jasmine” protests each Sunday from Feb 20. “We are in an underground bunker, a really strange place,” Janis Vougioukas, a Shanghai-based correspondent for Germany’s Stern magazine, told DPA by telephone.
“At least 15 journalists have been brought here from the cinema,” he said. Vougioukas and another European journalist said they were told to wait for officials to arrive for a “small talk” with them. Eight of the other detained journalists were Japanese, he said. The bunker appeared to house an “improvised police station” rather than a regular station, he said.
Last Sunday, police in Shanghai and Beijing detained at least 16 journalists, including a DPA reporter, to prevent them from reporting anti-government protests in the two cities.
A Bloomberg journalist was beaten as he tried to film at protest site in Beijing’s Wangfujing shopping street.
Public security and foreign ministry officials have summoned dozens of journalists in the past week in a bid to impose tough new reporting rules on them.
Some foreign journalists said they were threatened with punishment including revocation of visas if they continued to work in public areas without express permission.

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