19 November 2008

Alert

Police ask journalists for information on protest, photographs of demonstrators


Incident details

journalist(s)

harassed
(IFJ/IFEX) - The following is an IFJ media release:

Call for Taiwan Police to Stop Pressuring Media for Protest Information

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) urges Taiwan's National Police Agency (NPA) to stop asking media personnel for information about protesters at a recent public demonstration.

According to the Association of Taiwan Journalists (ATJ), an IFJ affiliate, members of the Taiwan police have reportedly asked media workers to provide photographs of demonstrators who participated in the "Yellow Ribbon Siege" protest against a meeting between Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou and chairman of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) Chen Yunlin on November 16. The protest was reportedly organised by the Democratic Progressive Political Party.

The ATJ said there were concerns that police would seek to pressure photojournalists who refused the request for information by approaching their employers.

"The police have put the reporters in grave danger by demanding that they rat on their interviewees," ATJ president Leon Chuang said.

On November 18, Leon Chuang and several reporters requested a meeting with NPA Director-General Wang Cho-chun to resolve the issue, but the request was declined.

"The duty of a journalist is to report the truth and to protect his or her sources. Journalists must not be compelled to act as agents to collect information on behalf of government authorities. Police interference of this kind places freedom of the independent press in jeopardy," IFJ Asia-Pacific said.

"The IFJ urges Taiwan's authorities to respect press freedom and ensure that they do not compromise journalists' integrity. All media outlets are also urged to defend press freedom and refrain from handing over photographs."

Increasing police pressure on Taiwan's media has been reported since early November. An independent documentary film-maker was detained by police while she was filming Chen in a hotel on November 4. In a separate incident, a television reporter was assaulted by police who reportedly mistook him for a protester during the November 16 rally.

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries worldwide.

For further information on the detention of the documentary filmmaker, see: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/98158


Source

International Federation of Journalists
International Press Centre, Residence Palace
Bloc C, second floor, Rue de la Loi, 155
1040 Brussels
Belgium
Fax:+32 2 2352219
Taiwan
 
More from Taiwan
  • Freedom of the Press 2017: Taiwan

    In December [2016], former president Ma Ying-jeou won a defamation suit against a media personality who had accused of accepting secret political donations, though the court ordered a smaller compensation payment than Ma had requested.

  • Freedom of the Press 2016: Taiwan

    A proposal by the Taipei police department to establish designated “press zones” at illegal demonstrations was abandoned after media workers sharply criticized it. A separate proposal by Taipei’s mayor that journalists wear identifying vests while covering demonstrations was also abandoned, following pushback by media workers.

  • Freedom of the Press 2015: Taiwan

    Ranked 48th in annual global media freedom report

 
More from Asia & Pacific
  • TRUTH VS MISINFORMATION: THE COLLECTIVE PUSH BACK

    SOUTH ASIA PRESS FREEDOM REPORT 2018-2019

  • The Campaign for Justice: Press Freedom in South Asia 2013-14

    Journalism in South Asia is far from an easy profession, as the 12th annual review of journalism in the region "The Campaign for Justice: Press Freedom in South Asia 2013-14" portrays. But this year's report also tells the story of the courage of South Asia's journalists to defend press freedom and to ensure citizens' right to information and freedom of expression in the face of increasing challenges to the profession and personal safety.

  • THE STORIES WOMEN JOURNALISTS TELL: Women in Media in South Asia

    The report is the first created by the South Asia Media Solidarity Network (SAMSN) looking specifically at the experience of women journalists in the South Asia sub-region