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China: Warrant to hold investigative journalist suspected of libel revoked

Bold stand: The Economic Observer — an independent weekly newspaper considered one of the most respected financial publications in China — last month put out a bold statement defending Qiu and criticising authorities. "We strongly condemn the use of public power to suppress and threaten the personal safety of media professionals," it said.

The police of Suichang County in east China's Zhejiang Province cancelled a detention warrant for a journalist who was accused by a public company of defamation Thursday morning, state-owned Xinhua news agency has reported.

The police of Lishui City, which administers Suichang, ordered the county's public security bureau to cancel the detention warrant for Qiu Ziming, a reporter of Economic Observer News, a Chinese economic newspaper, according to a spokesman for Zhejiang's public security bureau. Suichang county's public security bureau was also asked to apologise to Qiu.

Qiu was wanted by the police of Suichang after Kan Specialty Material Co Ltd accused him of defaming the company with fabricated stories.

After a review, the Lishui's municipal police found the detention warrant issued by Suichang county police failed to meet statutory requirements. The municipal police will probe into the illegal detention warrant, the spokesman said. But the police will continue to investigate the company's accusations of Qiu's wrongdoings in line with law, he added.

Qiu published reports in June detailing alleged improprieties such as insider trading by a major battery manufacturer based in Zhejiang. The company, Kan Specialty Material Co Ltd , based in Suichang and listed on the stock exchange of Shenzhen in southern China, denied the charges and accused Qiu of slander, initiating the police action.

But Qiu has continued to defend his innocence and demand justice in defiant entries on his Weibo account, a Twitter-like service offered by leading portal Sina.com, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP). "What I reported is the truth," Qiu said in an entry Wednesday, adding that he had "iron-clad" evidence of the company's wrongdoing and did not fear police. "This is not over. I will get an apology from the Suichang police," he said.

Date posted: July 30, 2010 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 151