News

August 3, 2010 - Updated on January 20, 2016

Business reporter taken off “most wanted” list


Reporters Without Borders welcomes the Zhejiang provincial government’s order to the Suichang police to withdraw its warrant for the arrest of Economic Observer reporter Qiu Ziming and calls for the incomprehensible 15-year jail sentence imposed on online journalist and blogger Gheyret Niyaz in Xinjiang on 23 July to be overturned on appeal. (More information about the trial: http://en.rsf.org/china-uyghur-journalist-and-website-24-07-2010,38016.html) “We welcome the apology that the Suichang police have given to Qiu Ziming and we call for a transparent investigation into why he was placed on a national list of wanted criminals,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We also call for the immediate release of Gheyret Niyaz, who was convicted on charges of contributing to a website that incited violence and providing foreign journalists with information about the July 2009 riots in Xinjiang.” The provincial authorities in Zhejiang rescinded Qiu Ziming’s arrest warrant on 29 July. Aged 28 and employed by one of China’s most respected business weeklies, Qiu spent several days in hiding after being accusing of defaming a leading Chinese battery manufacturer in articles he wrote about its alleged improprieties. Qiu always insisted on his innocence. “What I wrote is the truth,” he said. __________________________________________________________________ 30 July 2010 Journalist put on “most wanted” list for accusing company of improprieties Reporters Without Borders firmly condemns the action of the police in Suichang, in the eastern province of Zhejiang, in putting reporter Qiu Ziming of The Economic Observer weekly on the list of the country’s most wanted criminals because of allegations he made about a Suichang-based battery manufacturer, Kan Specialties Material Corporation. Voicing strong support for Qiu and hailing his determination to stand by what he wrote and produce evidence to back his claims, Reporters Without Borders calls on the police to remove him from the list at once and drop all legal proceedings. Qiu is currently facing a possible two-year jail sentence. “This is a journalist who adhered to his principles and did his duty as a reporter, and it is absurd to put him in the same category as wanted criminals,” the press freedom organisation said. “The government should heed the massive support that Chinese Internet users have expressed for Qiu since the police put him on the wanted list. There have been more than 2,000 posts about him.” Qiu, who works for The Economic Observer’s Shanghai bureau, wrote several stories in June about the battery company’s alleged improprieties, including insider trading. After the company responded with a lawsuit, Qiu went into hiding, prompting the police to put him on the national wanted list. Aged 28, Qiu is calling for justice to be rendered in the case. He says he does not fear the police and has proof of what he wrote. “This is not over, I will get an apology from the Suichang police,” he has written in his blog on Sina, one of the leading Chinese portals. Of the 33,000 Internet users who responded to a poll on the Sina website, 86 per cent said they thought the manhunt launched by the police was “illegal.” Commenting on the case, The Economic Observer, a widely respected business weekly, has condemned “the use of the police to repress a media professional.”