World Association of News Publishers

Protest Campaign - China, 15 July 2019

Protest Campaign - China, 15 July 2019

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His Excellency President Xi Jinping
President of the People’s Republic of China
Beijing, People’s Republic of China


15 July 2019


Your Excellency,

We are writing on behalf of the World Association of News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the World Editors Forum, which represent 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries, to express our serious concern at the blocking of several major German news outlets and the government’s continuing policy of censorship.

According to reports, the Chinese government is extending its crackdown on foreign international news organisations, last week adding the websites of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Süddeutsche Zeitung and Spiegel Online to its list of blocked domains. The websites of German TV programme Tagesschau, TV channel ZDF and the Swiss Broadcasting Company have also been added to the list of websites blocked by the ‘Great Chinese Firewall’.

The blocking of these outlets follows the recent censorship of several individual foreign news articles, including a report by Süddeutsche Zeitung revealing that Chinese border control installed spy software on tourists’ smartphones. The blockages also coincide with extensive foreign reporting on mass protests in Hong Kong.

This latest round of censorship comes after various foreign news portals were blocked in early June, including The Guardian, The Washington Post, Mail Online and Singapore’s The Straits Times. These closures coincided with the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

We respectfully call on you end the crackdown and to immediately lift restrictions on foreign news sites. Moreover, we urge you rethink your wider policy of censorship and to respect international standards of freedom of expression and press freedom, allowing citizens access to free information wherever it comes from.


We look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.


Yours sincerely,


Fernando de Yarza Lopez-Madrazo
President, World Association of News Publishers

Warren Fernandez
President, World Editors Forum




Andrew Heslop's picture

Andrew Heslop


2019-07-31 14:13

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In countless countries, journalists, editors and publishers are physically attacked, imprisoned, censored, suspended or harassed for their work. WAN-IFRA is committed to defending freedom of expression by promoting a free and independent press around the world. Read more ...