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British TV journalists assaulted, arrested and threatened in Beijing

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders has condemned the treatment meted out to two British journalists, Andrew Carter and Aidan Hartley, and their Chinese fixer Dean Peng, working for the investigative programme "Unreported World" on British TV's Channel 4. The two were investigating the fate of petitioners held by the authorities in a western district of the capital, when they were assaulted by staff at an illegal detention centre for petitioners on 14 September 2007. Nanyang officials maltreated them and tried to seize them and break their film camera. The violence stopped when the police arrived but they immediately arrested the journalists. They were held for six hours, questioned and threatened with punishment. Agents of the Public Security Bureau told them to sign a document confessing that they had broken Chinese law. When they refused the authorities deprived them of food.

Their fixer was held for a total of 16 hours in what he believes was an attempt to harass him into giving up his work with foreign journalists.

This latest case demonstrates that regulations for foreign journalists adopted in January 2007 are not being respected.

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