A reporting team from Britain’s Channel 4 was assaulted by thugs, and then detained by police following interviews with petitioner “inmates” at an illegal detention center in the outskirts of Beijing. The center is operated out of the Nanyang City government of Henan’s Beijing liason office.
The thugs damaged the journalists’ camera and tried to destroy their footage. The reporters called the police, who stopped the violence but did not follow through when the reporters tried to press charges of assault. The police told the reporters they couldn’t leave until they signed a confession admitting they’d illegally entered a government office. The reporters said they were not aware they had been filming in a government office. The journalists said a woman at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said she could not assist their release.
The two visiting reporters, Andrew Carter and Aidan Hartley, were detained for six hours. They were released after destroying a tape. Their Chinese fixer, Dean Peng was detained for 10 hours. Police issued an official warning to Peng accusing him of disturbing “administrative order” in the government liason office. Peng is seeking to cancel the warning on the grounds that the journalists’ reporting was conducted legally. He has appealed the case to the Fengtai district court