An AP photographer, reporter, and APTN camera crew were followed by local government officials in Fengxiang county, Shaanxi province, who attempted to block or disrupt interviews with parents of children hospitalized for lead poisoning on Aug. 19.
A cameraman was asked for his press card, which a policeman photographed, and the reporters were directed to a hospital administrative office where they were told a spokesman would be made available to answer their questions. When none appeared, they left and briefly gained access to a ward where children were being treated, before being asked to leave. The officials withdrew after reporters crossed the county line.
Throughout the day, the journalists were tailed, and the officials would follow on foot, leaning in over their shoulders while they interviewed people.
The same officials visited the APTN crew at their hotel the previous night, asking them to leave, and saying that matters were being taken care of and foreign reporters had no business reporting about it.