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China 31 October 2008

Ban on China Business Post puts 70 media workers out of work

Reporters Without Borders calls on the Chinese authorities to permit the reopening of China Business Post, a business weekly that was arbitrarily closed for three months on 8 September. At least 70 media workers have been laid off as a result of its closure under a rarely-enforced rule forbidding news media to do original investigative reporting outside the province where they are registered.

Based in Beijing but registered in Inner Mongolia, the newspaper published an investigative report in July about allegedly illegal bad-debt accounting by a branch of the Agricultural Bank of China in Changde, in the southern province of Hunan.

One of the weekly’s journalists filed a suit on 29 October against the Inner Mongolia Bureau of Press and Publications alleging that the three-month ban it issued in September was an abusive administrative decision that damaged the newspaper’s reputation. China Business Post has print run of 400,000 copies.

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