Correspondents should be careful if they attempt to enter the village of activist Chen Guangcheng in Shandong Province.
In recent days several correspondents have encountered groups of violent, plainclothes thugs.
Operating in groups of more than a dozen, these men are carrying walkie talkies and blocking all entrances to Dong Shu Gu village. They have pushed reporters around, threatened them with bricks, damaged their cars, confiscated or destroyed their equipment and taken their press credentials.
In one case, the local police – whose office is only 10 minutes away – were called by reporters but did not come to their aid. Since being told about the incidents the police appear to have done nothing to rectify the situation or rein in these groups of thugs.
Correspondents who have been harassed in recent days include representatives of Le Monde, CNN, The New York Times, Radio France International and Le Nouvel Observateur.
To avoid potential danger we urge anybody planning to visit Dong Shu Gu village to first speak to other reporters who have been there.