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China shuts down paper, detains 'fake' journalists

Chinese authorities closed an unregistered newspaper and arrested two "fake" reporters, state media reported yesterday.

Social News was not licensed for publication in China and provided false information about its registration in Hong Kong, the Xinhua news agency quoted the General Administration of Press and Publication saying.

President and chief reporter Gao Yang, who was not accredited by the press watchdog, has been arrested after authorities accused him of fraud, publishing and distributing illegal publications and organizing unauthorized public gatherings, Xinhua said.

Police told Xinhua the case was still under investigation and Gao, 39, was likely to be charged. His colleague and live-in partner, He Guiying, was also arrested.

The newspaper, which was distributed by post, has in recent months published a series of reports criticizing a local court in Yingkou, Liaoning Province, over apparent miscarriages of justice, China Central Television said.

"[The reports] wantonly criticized the court ... self-proclaimed president and chief reporter Gao Yang plotted and organized people who were ignorant of the truth to stir trouble in Yingkou and Beijing," the state channel reported.

"[Investigations] showed the Social News was an illegal newspaper and Gao Yang was a fake reporter," it said.

The official press watchdog began a nationwide crackdown on "false" news reports and "bogus" journalists in August.

Date posted: November 12, 2007 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 18