Reporter cinese ottiene scuse dalla polizia

La polizia ha inserito nella lista dei ricercati un reporter che, in alcuni articoli da lui pubblicati, criticava una società locale. La faccenda si è conclusa grazie agli ufficiali urbani che hanno ordinato alla polizia di scusarsi con il giornalista.

Segue articolo in inglese:

Qiu Ziming, a reporter for the Economic Observer, wrote a series of articles for the newspaper starting last month that accused managers at Zhejiang Kan Specialty Material Co., a Shenzhen-listed paper manufacturer, of illegal activities including insider trading and embezzlement. On July 23, police in Suichang County, where Kan Specialty Material is located, added Mr. Qiu to a list of wanted criminals for “damaging a company’s business reputation.” Mr. Qiu and his family went into hiding to avoid being detained, according to a person familiar with the matter. The police move prompted widespread criticism, as word of the affair spread over the Internet through Twitter-like microblogging services that are becoming increasingly popular in China. Then, on Thursday afternoon, the public security bureau in Lishui City, which oversees Suichang County, issued a notice on its website announcing that the Suichang authorities would be required to apologize and to remove Mr. Qiu from the list because the detention order didn’t meet legal requirements. Kan Specialty Material has steadfastly denied wrongdoing, and the merits of Mr. Qiu’s accusations couldn’t be independently confirmed. Mr. Qiu couldn’t be reached for comment. The rapid retreat of authorities in the face of public criticism was hailed by some media advocates as a triumph in a country where government officials and corporations frequently use their clout to try to suppress unpleasant news. “Definitely, this should be considered a victory for public opinion, and a credit to the increasingly open media, especially new media,” said Du Junfei, a journalism professor at Nanjing University. Bolder actions taken by the media and expression of public opinion on the Internet “have become a kind of mechanism that pushes society forward in today’s Internet era.” For decades China’s media generally marched in lockstep with propaganda authorities, but in the past decade an increasingly commercial-minded media have stepped up reporting on scandals and corruption. That reporting is also more widely read, thanks to the Internet, which now has some 400 million users in China. While the central government still ultimately has the power to dictate coverage, in practice it often tolerates investigative coverage provided it doesn’t target top national leaders or question the Communist Party’s monopoly on power. In Mr. Qiu’s case, the Economic Observer took the unusual step of releasing a public statement challenging the local authorities for putting Mr. Qiu on a wanted list. The statement said that “journalists and others were repeatedly threatened and offered inducements” leading up to the publication of Mr. Qiu’s articles. The person familiar with Mr. Qiu’s situation said Kan Specialty Material offered the reporter thousands of dollars in cash, and offered the newspaper tens of thousands of dollars, not to publish the stories. A Kan Specialty Material spokesman said the company never offered bribes to Mr. Qiu or to the Economic Observer. The spokesman said that the company did ask the local police to investigate articles that were harming its reputation, but that Kan Specialty Material didn’t ask the authorities to target Mr. Qiu. “Our company has always operated business based on the law,” the spokesman said. The Suichang County police couldn’t be reached for comment. Many Chinese Internet users who had followed Mr. Qiu’s story expressed their approval of the decision. One user writing under the name “Piao Sang” on the microblogging website of Sina.com called the news a “victory for public credibility.” But the user added that this was “also another blemish on the record of law enforcement authorities.”

In Cina vi è una crescente società civile che chiede libertà religiosa e di espressione. Ci battiamo per aiutarli,  i nostri governi dovrebbero sostenere loro e non il regime comunista cinese.

Fonte: The Wall Street Journal, 31 luglio 2010

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