Correspondents should be careful if trying to report on “underground” church activity in Haidian District.
On the weekend, foreign journalists attempting to cover an outdoor unofficial church gathering in Haidian were told by police they could not report in the Zhongguangcun area without approval 3 days prior from the local authorities.
One journalist was told prior permission was needed to report anywhere at all in Haidian District. IDs were checked, reporters filmed and, in the most serious case, one correspondent was detained for more than 3 hours for questioning.
This reporter was also forced to delete photos taken there, to write a statement and had his MFA-issued press card taken away (at the time of writing he still doesn’t have it back).
Some reporters were also manhandled and physically threatened by plainclothes officers.