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  • Incident Reports | 23 October, 2015 (10:18)

    Police grab, drag reporter away from protest, threaten to confiscate equipment

    Friday, October 23, 2015 at 10:18am
    Beijing, in front of Ping An company building on Jinrong Dajie

    Mika Makelainen, Asia correspondent for the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE, and his Chinese assistant went to report on a demonstration held by disappointed investors in Beijing on Friday, October 23, 2015, arriving at the scene at 10 a.m. The demonstrators were gathered on Jinrong Dajie in front of the Ping An building. “We walked around the Ping An building, which was protected by policemen from all sides. I was carrying the press card visibly. Soon after I began filming the demonstrators with my cell phone camera, the police claimed that we needed a government permission to interview people at the demonstration. They also claimed that we had no right to be there, although we were standing on a public street. As I was filming a situation, where a woman had fallen down on the edge of the sidewalk, surrounded on one side by policemen, a policeman violently grabbed my left arm from behind, forcefully dragging me away. The policeman caused a small bruise, which was still visible a week later, but didn’t require medical attention.

    I have posted photos of the bruise on my Facebook page. I was shooting video at the time of the incident. The video was published by YLE and is available here – where at 57 seconds into the video a policeman grabs me and drags me away. The incident happened at 10:18 a.m. Beijing time. The policeman in question can be identified from the recording. He and other policemen continued to insist that we stop reporting, and threatened to confiscate our equipment as well as to delete our footage, but eventually didn’t attempt to do so. We moved a bit further away to continue reporting on the demonstration. If the police would wish to look into the incident, they would surely have footage of it, because they were recording us and the demonstrators with multiple video cameras. I have not filed a complaint against the police, because I doubt that it would be taken seriously anyway.”