• Germany edition
 
German reporter faces sabotage in China
Photo: DPA

German reporter faces sabotage in China

Published: 08 Jan 2013 10:10 GMT+01:00
Updated: 08 Jan 2013 10:10 GMT+01:00

A German reporter investigating a case of five children killed by carbon monoxide poisoning in southwest China says his computer and smartphone were recently sabotaged after his hotel room was broken into.

Bernhard Zand, a reporter for the German weekly Der Spiegel, was looking into the accidental deaths in November of five street boys in Bijie, Guizhou province, which had cast a negative light on the country's social safety net.

In the course of his reporting Zand interviewed the Chinese journalist who broke the story and had been subsequently detained for several weeks, and also spoke with relatives of the dead children.

However while in Bijie, Zand reported that he and his Chinese assistant were constantly followed by unidentified men.

After returning to their hotel one evening last week in the provincial capital Guiyang, the pair found multiple files had been deleted from their laptops, and Zand's computer tablet and iPhone had been destroyed.

"It was a pre-meditated break-in," Zand told news agency AFP, adding a memory card containing photos files had also been completely deleted.

Zand filed a complaint with local police and Der Spiegel has called on Swiss hotel group Kempinski seeking information on the break-in at the hotel.

In light of Zand's report, the Foreign Correspondents Club of China (FCCC) recommended journalists working in Guizhou take special precautions to protect themselves and their equipment.

The sabotage against the German correspondent is not the only incident of recent harassment of foreign journalists in China. The Chinese authorities also forced a reporter for The New York Times to leave the country last month after refusing to renew his visa.

In a visit to Beijing in August German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged great protection for press freedom in China.

Ahead of her visit, German journalists working in China had called on Merkel to discuss the issue with Beijing, alleging authorities had been threatening to not renew media visas and intimidating their local assistants.

Earlier Monday hundreds of people demonstrated in support of media freedom in China outside the offices of the Southern Weekly newspaper in Guangzhou, which is at the centre of a censorship row following the blocking of an article urging the protection of rights, in a rare public display of anger on the issue.

All Chinese media organisations are subject to instructions from government propaganda departments, which often suppress news seen as "negative" by the ruling Communist Party, although some publications take a more critical stance.

AFP/The Local/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

20:28 January 8, 2013 by raandy
You ain't in Kansas anymore Todo.
Today's headlines
Ex-minister jailed over F1 race track scandal
Ingolf Deubel in court on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

Ex-minister jailed over F1 race track scandal

A former state finance minister was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison on Wednesday, having been found guilty of embezzling money in the scandal around the failed sale of the Nürburgring Formula One race track. READ () »

Upper Bavaria boasts lowest EU unemployment
A Bavarian worker works hard Photo: DPA

Upper Bavaria boasts lowest EU unemployment

Southern and central Bavaria have the lowest unemployment in the EU, according to figures released on Tuesday, with one business leader boasting the area has “de facto full employment”. READ () »

Thousands of tax evaders come forward to declare
Uli Hoeneß was jailed last month for tax evasion. Photo: DPA

Thousands of tax evaders come forward to declare

The number of German tax evaders who have self-declared to avoid prosecution trebled in the first quarter of 2014, figures published on Wednesday showed, with the rise put down to the "Uli Hoeneß effect". READ () »

Petition fails to remove WWII Russian tanks
One of the WWII Russian tanks near the Brandenburg Gate. Photo: DPA

Petition fails to remove WWII Russian tanks

The German government rejected on Wednesday a call by two newspapers to remove Russian tanks from a World War II memorial in central Berlin in protest against spiralling tensions in Ukraine. READ () »

Germany warns Ukraine talks must not fail
A Ukrainian policeman at a checkpoint in the eastern city of Kharkiv on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Germany warns Ukraine talks must not fail

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Wednesday that scheduled four-way talks on the Ukraine crisis must not fail, warning of "the threat of more dead and injured". READ () »

Olympic stadium could be giant polling station
Berlin's Olympic Stadium. Photo: DPA

Olympic stadium could be giant polling station

Berlin's Olympic stadium could become the world's biggest polling station if the Turkish community gets the go-ahead to vote there in Turkey’s general elections. READ () »

The Local List
Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German
Photo: DPA

Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German

From rolling wheels filled with burning hay down a hill, to waiting for a fox to bring eggs, The Local List this week looks at the nine best German Easter traditions. READ () »

Biology pupils find horse in kebab meat test
Horse? Photo: DPA

Biology pupils find horse in kebab meat test

Schoolchildren in western Germany came across horse meat while testing doner kebabs in a biology experiment. It comes a year after the horse meat scandal which showed much meat on sale in Europe had been mislabelled. READ () »

Private health insurance not worth it for workers
Photo: DPA

Private health insurance not worth it for workers

Thousands of employees paying into private health insurance in Germany get poor value for money, according to consumer experts - who recommend going private for just one group of workers. READ () »

'Free range' chicken farmer tricks customers
Free range? Photo: DPA

'Free range' chicken farmer tricks customers

UPDATE: A major producer of ethically certifified meat has admitted to defrauding thousands of customers for years by passing off conventional chicken as free range. But the brand said it took swift action to deal with the case. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
'The mafia has infiltrated every sector in Germany'
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
School kids hospitalized after 'porno' party
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The week in pictures: April 5th - April 11th
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Munich's baby polar bears are finally named
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Advertisement:
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Hult International Business School
Sponsored Article
What they don't teach you at Business School
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo:ESL
Sponsored Article
How to integrate successfully in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,115
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd