Japanese Journalists Beaten By Police In Xinjiang

Aug 4, 2008

Paramilitary police detained, kicked and beat two Japanese journalists attempting to cover the aftermath of deadly attacks on police in Kashgar, Xinjiang.

Paramilitaries forcibly removed from a public street then beat and detained Masami Kawakita, an Olympic-accredited photographer with the Chunichi Sports newspaper, and Shinji Katsuta, a reporter with the Nippon Television Network, according to their organizations, the Kyodo news service and several witnesses. The men also had equipment damaged.

Kawakita said he was surrounded by paramilitaries, lifted off the floor by his arms and legs and kicked. When he was put down again, one of the police put a boot on his face and pinned it to the floor. His flash was broken and he still feels pain in his elbow and ribs on his right side.

“It was unbelievable,” said Kawakita. “Imagine how I felt to be suddenly surrounded my paramilitaries.” In fifteen years in journalism, he said he had never experienced anything like it. Senior police officers apologised the following day.