• Log In

  • Incident Reports | 1 August, 2008 (22:36)

    Finnish Reporter Followed In Hebei

    Katri Makkonen of Finnish Broadcasting Company was followed and her sources harassed in Handan, Hebei province while trying to do a story on a steel factory.

    The factory had refused requests for two weeks for a visit, but she wanted to talk to locals outside. Soon after she arrived, the head of the local propaganda bureau turned up in a big black car and ordered everyone to leave and not to talk to the reporter.
    One of the officials began filming villagers to intimidate them.

    When asked to explain, the official told Makkonen she didn’t want them to crowd her and asked her to come for tea and discuss the purpose of the reporting trip. When she reminded the official that this was not necessary under Olympic reporting regulations, the official eventually relented. But from then on, Makkonen was followed.

    “We interviewed someone and then three people barged into his house,” said Makkonen. “It was the people from the factory who we had been calling for two weeks and refused to let us interview them.”