Beijing, Feb 16 (DPA) Chinese security forces assaulted foreign journalists attempting to visit a dissident under house arrest, the Foreign Correspondents Club of China said Wednesday.
“Correspondents should be careful if they attempt to enter the village of activist Chen Guangcheng in Shandong province,” the club warned after incidents involving journalists of US broadcaster CNN, the New York Times and French media outlets Le Monde, Radio France Internationale and Le Nouvel Observateur.
CNN correspondent Stan Grant and his team were attacked at a roadblock near Donshigu village, when security forces demanded they stop filming and leave, the report said.
“In recent days several correspondents have encountered groups of violent, plainclothes thugs,” the club said, adding that the men were “operating in groups of more than a dozen, these men are carrying walkie talkies and blocking all entrances” to the village.
“They have pushed reporters around, threatened them with bricks, damaged their cars, confiscated or destroyed their equipment and taken their press credentials.”
Local police did not come to the journalists’ aid, the report said.
Chen, 39, and his wife Yuan Weijing were beaten last week by police near their home, activists said. The blind activist had criticised his house arrest in an internet video. He had been released in September after four years in prison.