• Germany's news in English
 

German reporter faces sabotage in China

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

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)

Your comments about this article

20:28 January 8, 2013 by raandy
You ain't in Kansas anymore Todo.
Today's headlines
Police shoot man dead in Rhineland-Palatinate
Photo: DPA

Police shoot man dead in Rhineland-Palatinate

A 40-year-old man died in hospital in Grünstadt, Rhineland Palatinate after being shot by police on Monday evening. READ  

Daimler hit with Greek corruption charges
German soldiers in a 'Unimog' truck made by Daimler. Photo: DPA

Daimler hit with Greek corruption charges

Greek prosecutors announced on Monday they are bringing charges against several Daimler managers, who they say were involved in multi-million euro bribes to Greek authorities. READ  

Germany's surrender order under the hammer
Admiral Dönitz (m) with Albert Speer (l) and General Alfred Jodl (r). Photo: DPA

Germany's surrender order under the hammer

Marooned on a naval base in northwest Germany, pinned down by advancing Allied forces and Adolf Hitler dead, the last leader of the Third Reich hammered out the surrender order. READ  

Merkel not yet 'Mutti' of the Twittersphere
Photo: DPA

Merkel not yet 'Mutti' of the Twittersphere

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is the only G7 leader not to have a Twitter account, according to a report on the social network released on Tuesday. READ  

Kindergarten wage negotiations fail
Photo: DPA

Kindergarten wage negotiations fail

The public services union Ver.di announced on Monday evening that negotiations over a pay increase for Kindergarten teachers had failed. Strikes will start at the end of next week and go on for an indefinite period. READ  

Deutsche Bank chief faces trial in Munich
Jürgen Fitschen (left) goes on trial in Munich today. Photo:DPA

Deutsche Bank chief faces trial in Munich

Deutsche Bank co-CEO Jürgen Fitschen is one of five defendants in a trial starting Tuesday accused of giving false testimony in a long-running legal battle with the defunct Kirch media group. READ  

Regensburg diocese looks into abuse claims
The administrative head of the Regensburg diocese Michael Fuchs.Photo: DPA

Regensburg diocese looks into abuse claims

The diocese of Regensburg announced on Monday it is cooperating with the victims' organisation White Ring to investigate sexual and physical abuse at the Domspatzen Choir, Die Welt reported. READ  

JobTalk Germany
Graduates desperate to work for car giants
BMW are the most attractive employer for business and engineering graduates. Photo: DPA

Graduates desperate to work for car giants

A survey published on Monday shows that the car industry is the most attractive place of work for German business graduates and engineers alike. READ  

Language fails
Minster wows crowds with Denglisch
Gerd Müller, left, with UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to his right. Photo: DPA

Minster wows crowds with Denglisch

Development Minister Gerd Müller recently captivated crowds at the Global Citizen Earth Day in Washington, D.C. with his enthusiastic - if erratic - English. The speech has since gone viral. READ  

Arms firms struggle to meet ethics mark
A Leopard 2 tank made by Germany's Krauss-Maffei Wegmann. Photo: DPA.

Arms firms struggle to meet ethics mark

A report released on Monday by Transparency International UK found that German arms companies had a spotty record in their ethics and anti-corruption programmes. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
Smart kids all want to work for BMW
National
Arms firms get a 'must do better' mark on ethics
Sport
Bayern's anticlimactic 25th Bundesliga win
Gallery
German beer day: take the tour
Features
Off to Norway at 18 km/hour
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
Gallery
The smileys Germans love to text
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
National
Expats face Monday deadline to register to vote for UK election
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
VIDEO: Mario Draghi suffers anti-ECB confetti attack
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
Germanwings co-pilot 'searched suicide info'
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Gallery
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
Gallery
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
National
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

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

7,170
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd
?>