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Journalists attacked in three separate incidents in Shaanxi Province, China

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemns the three violent attacks against journalists in Shaanxi Province over the past week and is particularly disturbed to learn of the involvement of Government officials in one of the incidents.

On 29 May 2013, Feng, a journalist for the Shaanxi Science and Technology Views newspaper, was attacked by two men with a knife after he refused to accept a bribe during his investigations into an illegal land eviction in Yulin City, Yuyang District. According to reports, the attackers yelled "Who asked you to be so nosy!" Feng said the attack, which left him with several injuries, happened during a meeting with the deputy minister of the local propaganda department.

An additional two brutal attacks occurred on 30 May. Two journalists from New West magazine reported that they were threatened and attacked by several people under instruction from the Department of Land and Resources, Shaanxi province. According to reports, the pair were investigating illegal gold mining in Tongguan County, Weinan City. When the two journalists made inquiries about a mining license to the department, a man claiming to be the Director of the Department harassed and scolded the journalists saying "Do we have to report to media about what we are doing? We have the right not to answer your questions. I could make you die today." The journalists were then physically attacked by officials. One journalist was punched in the head by the Director and kicked and punched by the other officers. He suffered numerous injuries as a result of the attack.

A third attack occurred at a vocational school in Weinan City. Two journalists for Shaanxi Television were attacked by the Headmaster and Deputy Headmaster of the Shaanxi Hua Shan Vocational School while they were investigating a student complaint. The journalists were injured and their camera damaged.

The IFJ is deeply concerned by the shocking brutality, victimisation and complete disregard for the role of media demonstrated by the government and leaders in each of these three incidents. "These incidents are an attack not only on the individual journalists but also on press freedom in general," said the IFJ Asia-Pacific office.

"We urge the Central Government to act to ensure the safety of journalists and foster an environment where they can carry out their professional duties without interference."

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