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Murdered journalist adds to China's "atrocious record of brutality towards media"

(IFJ/IFEX) - The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has voiced its outrage at the brutal murder of a Chinese journalist who was beaten to death on January 10, in the Huiyuan county of the Shanxi province, and has called for a full investigation into the case.

According to online news reports, Lan Chengzhang of Beijing's China Trade News was investigating a story on China's coal mining industry with a fellow reporter, when he was attacked by the group of assailants, allegedly on the orders of a local coal mine boss.

"From all accounts it appears this band of thugs viciously targeted a journalist because of his work, and in a very discouraging blow for press freedom in China, silenced a vital independent voice forever," IFJ President Christopher Warren said.

"Chengzhang is the third journalist to be violently murdered in China in the last year, adding to the country's already atrocious record of brutality towards the media," Warren said.

"We are seeing what seems to be a steep decline in the value of human life in China and the government can no longer remain inactive," Warren said.

Police are reportedly investigating the incident after an uncharacteristic public outcry in China about the murder.

"The IFJ calls for an independent and transparent investigation to ensure the perpetrators of this horrific crime are swiftly brought to justice," Warren said.

"The future of China depends on a free, safe and democratic media, and the government must show the world it is willing to embrace press freedom and ensure that those who seek to stifle freedom of expression through violence or intimidation will not succeed," he said.

Date posted: January 18, 2007 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 8