Six to seven plainclothes thugs prevented a four-person ARD TV team from approaching the home of Yuan Weijing in a Shandong province village. It was the second attempt in two weeks by Germany’s ARD to talk with Yuan, wife of imprisoned blind human-rights activist Chen Guangcheng.
During the first attempt, police had arrested Yuan’s brother shortly before the team arrived. In the more recent incident, two of the thugs had stones in their hands and threatened the journalists. During the brawl that ensued, the cameraman fell to the ground. One of the thugs hit the camera with a stone, but didn`t destroy it.
The team was not beaten but the journalists were threatened, insists ARD correspondent Jochen Gräbert. Although nobody was injured, he says, “these guys were like fighting robots. It was a dangerous situation.” After the team retreated to the outskirts of the village, Yuan came out of her house but was prevented from speaking to the media.