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  • Incident Reports | 14 July, 2014 (20:09)

    Incident Report of AFP Team on Monday July 14th when reporting in Beijing

    AFP reported on a protest by about 30 parents and 10 children outside the Chaoyang district government building. They were complaining that the children were not allowed to attend school in Beijing.

    While they were standing on the pavement alongside the protesters, a policeman asked for the documents of the AFP team, and insisted that the photographer and text reporter had to go inside the building, where they were detained for around 60-90 minutes, while he “checked their documents.” They were released shortly after a member of the Foreign Affairs Office (Waiban) arrived.

    The text reporter asked the Waiban official (who refused to indentify himself, as did all the other policemen) if they could interview the parents on the street outside the government building. The Waiban official did not complain, so the text reporter continued his interviewing. He was then called by a police officer who did not give his name. The police officer told the AFP reporter that he was not allowed to interview outside the entrance to the government building without the government’s permission. He said he didn’t know if it was permitted to carry out the interview across the street.

    After crossing the street to carry out interviews, an AFP video reporter arrived, and another police officer said they could not interview people on the street, but did not explain why. After about 15 minutes, the AFP team left.

    During the incident, AFP’s bureau chief received three phone calls from police in charge of foreign reporters. They asked him repeatedly to tell his team to leave, as they “needed authorization to interview people in the street.” The bureau chief disagreed, based on the existing rules governing foreign journalists.