September 30, 2016

RSF denounces ICAO discrimination against Taiwanese journalists denied accreditation to cover tri-annual assembly in Montreal

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) denounces the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) ‘s refusal to accredit two Taiwanese journalists for its tri-annual Assembly in Montreal earlier this week. RSF calls on the ICAO to immediately grant these journalists access to this important event.

One day before the ICAO held its tri-annual Assembly from September 27 through October 7 in Montreal, Canada, two journalists were denied accreditation to cover the event based on their Taiwanese nationality and affiliation with Taiwanese media. Chia Chang, reporter for United Daily News, and Yuli Hu, journalist for Taiwan’s Central News Agency, were both denied authorization to cover the event.

Chang was told accreditation was refused because of her Taiwanese nationality whereas Hu, while of Canadian nationality, was told she was refused accreditation because she wrote for a Taiwanese news agency.

The ICAO is an agency of the United Nations, and “follows the UN’s ‘One-China’ policy”, according to an email from one of its representatives to Reuters last week. Taiwan was invited to the last tri-annual Assembly three years ago, but was not invited back this year.

Journalists should not be prohibited from covering events because of their nationality or the nationality of the media they are affiliated with, says Delphine Halgand, RSF’s US Director. The work of the International Civil Aviation Organization is of important public interest and should not be restricted to journalists from Taiwan for political reasons.”