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  • Incident Reports | 19 September, 2009 (11:14)

    Beijing Authorities Beat Kyodo Journalists

    LOCATION: Beijing
    TYPE OF INCIDENT: Violence, broken equipment
    TOPIC: Oct. 1 National Day
    NATIONALITY/ORGANIZATION: Kyodo news agency/Japan

    The Japanese Kyodo news agency has reported that unidentified authorities in Beijing stormed the hotel room of three visiting journalists, beat them and damaged two computers. The agency says authorities stormed into the journalists’ room on Friday evening, kicked and beat the journalists about their heads, and forced them to kneel on the ground.

    The incident occurred on a rehearsal day for the Oct. 1 military parade through central Beijing. More than a dozen FCCC members have reported receiving phone calls in recent weeks warning them not to photograph and/or interview people in or around Tiananmen Square in the weeks leading up to the anniversary. Several foreign news organizations were ordered not to film or photograph rehearsals, but no clear, written regulations have been issued by the Foreign Ministry and journalists have been given varying instructions.

    Following is the text of Kyodo’s English news report:

    BEIJING, Sept. 18 Kyodo – Chinese authorities assaulted three Kyodo News journalists in Beijing on Friday night when they were covering a rehearsal of a military parade the country will stage in the city on Oct. 1, the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
    The authorities kicked one reporter and two cameramen and hit their heads to make them knee down at a room of Beijing Hotel, which faces Chang’an Avenue that runs east to west past the Tiananmen Square area where the National Day celebrations will be centered.
    The authorities, who stormed into the room around 8 p.m. without notice, destroyed two computers by throwing them out of the room to the corridor.
    China’s Foreign Ministry ordered news organizations not to take photos when the country conducted a rehearsal Sept. 6, but the ministry has not issued such an order since then.
    Just as the previous rehearsal, tanks, armored vehicles and missile-carrying vehicles traveled the central Beijing in the Friday event.
    It will be the first time for China to hold a military parade since 1999, when it celebrated the 50th anniversary of its founding.