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Foreign correspondents not targeted: analysts

By Liu Linlin (Global Times)

08:41, August 23, 2012

Foreign correspondents' associations have voiced their concern over a series of harassment and beating cases in China in the past two months. Experts pointed out that foreign journalists are not necessarily being targeted, but called on local authorities to improve their skill in dealing with the media.

The Foreign Correspondent's Clubs of Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong Tuesday cited four recent cases, including the alleged beating of a journalist from Japan's Asahi Shimbun by police in Nantong, Jiangsu Province during coverage of a demonstration in July.

"I was photographing scenes of dozens of police beating protesters, then I was targeted by men in blue uniforms and got beaten," Atsushi Okudera, a Shanghai-based reporter with Asahi Shimbun, told the Global Times on Tuesday, adding that his camera was taken and had still not been returned.

An official surnamed Pan with the Nantong Foreign Affairs office told the Global Times that local police are still investigating the case and will try to deliver the result by the end of this month.

"We want to deliver a convincing result and will follow the law. But we'll also protect our rights if the government is slandered," Pan said on Tuesday.

Other incidents occurred in August, including an assault on a Hong Kong-based Asia Television reporter outside the court in Anhui, where Bogu Kailai, wife of Bo Xilai, stood trial for murder, a German television reporter being attacked by a mob and detained for nine hours in Henan, and two reporters from Poland and the US being followed and intimidated in Inner Mongolia.

"We are particularly concerned that a number of these incidents have involved members of the official security forces and associated elements," the statement wrote.

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