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Journalists and others warned against writing about Tiananmen Square anniversary, related website blocked

(IFJ/IFEX) - The following is a 4 June 2008 IFJ media release:

IFJ Slams Restrictions on Journalists on Tiananmen Square Anniversary

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemns the Chinese Government's orders barring journalists from reporting on the 19th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989.

The IFJ has been told by journalists, writers, academics, lawyers and activists that police in various provinces have issued warnings not to participate in any kind of memorial gathering related to events in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Sources said they were warned throughout this week not to write anything related to June 4.

Zhang Jinjun, a journalist working in Shenzhen, told the IFJ that he was directly warned yesterday by local police not to attend any gathering tonight to mark the anniversary.

Writer Zhao Dagong has told the IFJ he was similarly warned not to write articles about the anniversary.

Many student leaders, participants and activists from the 1989 uprising have been warned not to write about or attend any memorial services. Several told the IFJ that security officials approach them every year before June 4 to issue similar warnings.

China's "cyber-police" have continued to scrutinise all sensitive words and phrases about the anniversary. A new website, http://www.tiananmenmother.org , was blocked in China this week.

Human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang was prevented from visiting Tiananmen Square last night. Pu was escorted home from his office by plain-clothed officials from the Beijing security bureau. Pu, a student representative in Tiananmen Square in 1989, visits the square every year on June 3 to pay his respects to those killed.

"All citizens should be able to enjoy the freedom of expression guaranteed in China's Constitution," said IFJ Asia-Pacific. "Without a free media, China's claims to increasing openness remain demonstrably false."

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries.

Updates alerts on censorship of information about the events in Tiananmen Square: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/94235

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