STATEMENT BY THE EUROPEAN UNION (28/02/2011)

The European Union is troubled by accounts of foreign journalists being detained without explanation and being physically intimidated or assaulted in Beijing on Sunday 27th February 2011.

We urge the Chinese authorities to respect the rights of foreign journalists to report freely in China according to the relevant laws and regulations, and also to ensure their physical safety while carrying out their work.

We call on the relevant authorities to clarify the legal basis for the physical obstruction and detention of foreign journalists on Sunday.

Today we met several of the journalists directly affected by the events in Beijing on Sunday, who recounted their ordeals, including accounts of physical violence, intimidation and detention without explanation. We call upon the Chinese authorities to fully investigate these cases and hold the perpetrators to account under Chinese law.