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Saturday, October 09, 2010

Falun Gong Journos Barred from EU-China Summit

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New Tang Dynasty TV (NTDTV): The EU-China Summit in Brussels ended on Wednesday without the usual press conference. The Chinese delegation canceled it, apparently because of scheduling delays. But many, including the President of the International Press Association in Brussels, Lorenzo Consoli, believe there was another reason.

[Lorenzo Consoli, President, International Press Association]:
“It is difficult to believe, frankly. I do not have any proof, but I strongly suspect that the real motivation was the Chinese government. The China delegation didn’t accept to hold the press conference where independent Chinese journalists were allowed to ask questions.”

The independent Chinese journalists Consoli referred to were four reporters from NTD and the Chinese language version of the Epoch Times newspaper. Like NTD, the Epoch Times often reports on issues in China that are censored by the Chinese regime—including religious persecution, official corruption and social unrests.

Earlier, the four reporters were denied entry into the European Council building where the press conference was scheduled. It was supposedly due to “security reasons” but NTD’s correspondent Li Zi says they are fully accredited reporters in the European Union, and had attended previous events there.

[Li Zi, NTD European Union Correspondent]:
“NTD and Epoch Times reporters often attend summits here at the EU—for example the G27, and other summits between the EU and other countries. There were never any security reasons. Why, then, at today’s China-EU Summit, were NTD and Epoch Times reporters denied entry to the press conference?”

[Lorenzo Consoli, President, International Press Association]:
“It is a very strange thing and it is very suspicious. I think it is quite likely that actually there was very strong interference by the Chinese delegation on the EU organization.”

Later the reporters were allowed in, but the Chinese delegation cancelled the press conference saying there were time delays. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao was scheduled to attend the event.

In June, a similar incident happened in Canada when leader of the Chinese regime Hu Jintao visited. A scheduled press conference was cancelled after the Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery refused a request by the Chinese Embassy to exclude NTD and Epoch Times from attending the event.

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