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Japanese journalist deported

(RSF/IFEX) - RSF is protesting the deportation of a Japanese journalist from
According to RSF's information, on 4 October 1998, Yukihisa Nakatsu, 39,
correspondent for the Japanese daily "Yomiuri Shimbun", received an order
from the Chinese authorities to leave the country within 72 hours. He was
expelled on 6 October. According to official sources, Nakatsu, "since 1996,
stole state secrets using money and other illegal methods, violating Chinese
laws." In fact, the journalist was questioned after his return from a trip
to Tibet. The police also came to his office, took notes and documents, and
interrogated him on his sources, which the journalist refused to reveal.
According to some colleagues, the real motive for the expulsion was his
links with Chinese journalist Shi Binhai who was arrested on 5 September
(see IFEX alert of 15 September 1998). His whereabouts are unknown. Binhai,
36, an editor for the "China Economic Times", is one of two journalists who
edited the book "Political China: Facing the Era of Choosing a New
Structure", a compilation of 39 essays by journalists, academics and former
officials. Binhai was arrested in 1989 for his role in the ill-fated
demonstration. He was released in 1991.

Nakatsu's deportation comes just as China has signed, on 5 October, the
United Nations' International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,
Article 19 of which guarantees freedom of the press.

RSF considers Nakatsu' s deportation to be a very serious infringement of
press freedom, in total contradiction with the goodwill statements of the
Chinese government concerning the respect of human rights.

Recommended Action

Send appeals to the President:
  • asking him to intervene to withdraw the expulsion of the Japanese
    st and to allow him to return to Beijing to practise his profession
  • asking him to use his influence to clarify the charges against Shi Binhai
    and to secure his release if he is held because of what he wrote
  • calling for the immediate and unconditional release of the thirteen other
    journalists who are still being held in China

    Appeals To

    His Excellency President Jiang Zemin
    State Council
    Beijing 100032, PRC
    Fax: +86 10 6512 5810

    Please copy appeals to the source if possible.

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