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Taiwan 8 November 2008

More than 10 journalists injured during opposition protests against Chinese visit

Reporters Without Borders deplores the violence against journalists in Taipei in the course of protests against a visit by a Chinese government representative during the past few days. It also regrets that the police arrested a journalist who was just filming the protests.

"Opposition activists have the right to demonstrate, but it is regrettable that they did so with such violence and with no thought for the safety of journalists," Reporters Without Borders said. "Relations between China and Taiwan are very controversial, but the media have a right to talk about them without being the target of violence or pressure."

At least 10 journalists were injured during protests on 6 November by supporters of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) against the meeting in Taipei between President Ma Ying-jeou and Chen Yunlin, the president of the Chinese government-backed Association for Relations in the Taiwan Straits, which led to clashes between DPP supporters and police.

Those injured included a woman journalist who was hit by an object thrown by a demonstrator, ETTV cameraman Yang Sun-ren, who was hit by a stone, and an FTV journalist who was injured by a policeman.

Chai Lu, a presenter for the Chinese state television station CCTV, was attacked by government opponents on the evening of 5 November outside a hotel, receiving protection from police who arrived 10 minutes later. A reporter for Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV was manhandled later the same evening in the same place by Taiwanese independence supporters.

Documentary filmmaker Chen Yu-ching was detained and roughed up by police on 4 November while she was outside the hotel where the Chinese government representative was staying. The police held her for an hour after she refused to show her press accreditation.

A Central News Agency cameraman was manhandled by security guards on 2 November while covering a ceremony in honour of Chen Yunlin in Taipei.

Some Taiwanese media complained that they were excluded from meetings between Chen and the president, while mainland Chinese journalists had much better access.

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