SICHUAN PROVINCE: POLICE CONFISCATE PRESS CARDS, TRY TO FORCIBLY CONFISCATE TAPES OF QUAKE DISASTER
May 13, 2008–
Police confiscated press cards from a TV team in Juyuan and tried to forcibly seize video the team took of the Sichuan earthquake disaster area.
At 3:00 a.m., 12 hours after the earthquake struck, a police officer who refused to identify himself confiscated reporters’ press cards issued by the Chinese government.
“They surrounded us and started pulling us — at our clothes, our hands and arms, at my bag, at our camera — we felt physically threatened and did not feel safe,” said a reporter. The team alerted the Foreign Ministry, and the Foreign Ministry was able to locate the teams press cards and return them within a few days.