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CPC attempts to block publication of book

(IFJ/IFEX) - The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) urges the Communist Party of China (CPC) to lift the restrictive order attempting to prevent a retired professor from exercising his constitutional rights of freedom of speech.

Du Guang, 83, a CPC member and retired professor of the Central Committee of the CPC's Party School, had intended to publish his new book, titled 'Getting Back to Democracy', in Hong Kong on March 1.

However, on the eve of publication, Chen Baosheng, the Vice Principal and Party Secretary of the Central Party School, backed by senior Communist Party leaders, ordered that the publication be stopped.

Bao Pu, publisher of the book, told the IFJ that publication of the book was halted due to an allegation contained within the book that senior party leader and member of the CPC Politburo Standing Committee, Wu Bang Guo, had misunderstood the original ideals of the Party. In the book, Du blames Wu for leading China towards a one-party dictatorship rather than a democracy.

According to a report by the Washington Post, the book does not lampoon the CPC nor challenge its authority, but rather dissects its policies and traces how far it has drifted from its early ideals.

"Du has received a lot of pressure from senior members of the Party and has been warned not to accept any interviews from the media", Bao said, "but the book will be published on March 15, 2012, because the CPC's order has no authority in Hong Kong which operates under the 'One Country ,Two Systems' model".

Under Article 35 of China's Constitution, all Chinese citizens enjoy freedom of publication.

"By attempting to stop publication of Du Guang's work, it is clear that the Communist Party of China is violating its commitments to publishing freedom under China's Constitution", the IFJ Asia-Pacific Office said.

"We remind China's authorities of their obligations to respect the country's laws, as well as Hong Kong's autonomy under the 'One Country, Two Systems' model".

The IFJ urges China's Vice-President and the Principal of the Party School, Xi Jinping, to investigate this incident of infringement of publishing freedom and take steps to ensure members of the CCP at all levels respect the rights enshrined in the country's Constitution.

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