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Photographer arrested in Chongqing; business reporter attacked in Beijing

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders calls on Bo Xilai, the head of the Communist Party in the southwestern city of Chongqing, to intercede on behalf of a "Chongqing Morning Post" reporter, believed to be photographer Qiu Jinyi, who was arrested after posting a comment on the Tianya online forum and was sentenced to a year of reeducation through work.

"Bo Xilai, who is championing the fight against organised crime, must urgently obtain the release of this 'Chongqing Morning Post' journalist who did nothing but comment on a police raid on a prostitution ring," Reporters Without Borders said. "You cannot claim to be combating organised crime and official corruption while at the same time jailing journalists who provide analysis of what is being done."

While governor of Liaoning province, Bo Xilai had the investigative journalist Jiang Weiping imprisoned.

Qiu Jinyi was reportedly arrested for commenting on a 21 June 2010 police raid on the Chongqing Hilton Hotel in which around 20 people were arrested for allegedly organising a prostitution ring in the hotel, which is part of the international Hilton chain.

Chen Songbo and Liao Shuang, two other journalists who work for the newspaper (which is owned by the Chongqing Daily group), were interrogated by the police for swapping information and comments about the case on the Chinese instant messaging service QQ.

Pressed by the authorities, the newspaper's management asked its staff not to say anything about the arrest.

Reporters Without Borders also urges the authorities to thoroughly investigate the physical attack on Fang Xuen Chang, a senior journalist with the business magazine "Caijing", in Beijing. Fang's assailant hit him on the head and back with a stick as he was about to enter his home. He was hospitalised but his injuries are not life-threatening.
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