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Chinese police officer threatens TV journalist with a knife

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemns the action of a police officer in Kunming City, Yunnan, who pointed a knife at a journalist while the journalist was reporting on a car accident.

According to a July 14, 2013 Xinhua report, journalists from Kunming television station were threatened by police on the night of July 12 in Xishan District. The journalists said that the policeman pointed a knife at a journalist when he was reporting on a car accident. The policeman damaged the spotlight tripod and tried to intimidate the crew, saying: "I can kick you to death today. My knife is here."

The journalist reported that the policeman seemed drunk and admitted he was working at the police station of Kunming prefecture city, Yunnan province.

On July 13, when the journalist made further enquiries about the incident at the local police station, asking whether the car belonged to the police station, the police refused to answer the request, saying: "It's relatively complicated."

"It is totally unacceptable for a law enforcement officer to abuse the law by carrying a knife and threatening a journalist while the journalist was exercising his duty," the IFJ Asia-Pacific office said.

"A police officer's duty should be to assist and answer media requests, rather than to block or harass the media."

The IFJ urges the Public Security Bureau of China to investigate the police officer in Kunming City, Yunnan province and publicly disclose the report of its investigation. The IFJ also urges the All Chinese Journalists Association to look into the matter and demand that the police officer in question offer an apology to the journalist.

The IFJ also urges the All Chinese Journalists Association, as the only media union in China, to exercise its duties properly by demanding that the Public Security Bureau (PSB) demand that police officers at all levels respect press freedom. The PSB should also remind the police that their duty is to assist the media in carrying out their responsibilities, which is a general standard accepted by law enforcement officers internationally.

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