AFP: International press group slams China's jailing of journalists

Friday, 13-Dec-2002

BEIJING, Dec 13 (AFP) - A Paris-based international news association accused China here Friday of jailing journalists and expressed serious concerns to the country's top media official over China's lack of press freedoms.

A delegation from the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) met with Liu Yunshan, China's newly appointed minister of propaganda, and expressed dismay over the ongoing persecution of Internet reporters, the group said in a faxed statement.

"The global newspaper community ... was seriously concerned about the limitations on freedom of information and freedom of the press in China and that little or no improvement had been observed by WAN since it last sent a mission to China in 1997," the group said.

The delegation was headed by WAN president Seok Hyun Hong, publisher of the JoongAng Ilbo in South Korea and Timothy Balding, WAN director general.

"We observe that journalists and other advocates of free expression continue to be harassed, arrested and jailed and that more than 30 are currently in prison," Balding told the propaganda officials.


WAN is a global organization comprising some 18,000 newspapers, including 71 national dailies, that defends and promotes freedom of the press worldwide.

The delegation is on a five-day visit to China that also includes a visit to Shanghai.

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