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    Reporters Without Borders said in it’s 2005 special report titled “Xinhua: the world’s biggest propaganda agency”, that “Xinhua remains the voice of the sole party”, “particularly during the SARS epidemic, Xinhua has for last few months been putting out news reports embarrassing to the government, but they are designed to fool the international community, since they are not published in Chinese.”
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Free Speech Censored in Australian Soil Due to Pressure From China: MP

Posted by Author on September 17, 2007

By Charlotte Cuthbertson, Epoch Times NZ Staff, Sep 16, 2007-

Following an accredited journalist being taken out of a photo opportunity at Sydney’s APEC meeting last week, a NSW MP has said the Australian Government should not be intimidated by Chinese officials.

NSW Member of Parliament Dr Reverend Moyes called the removal of Epoch Times photographer Sarah Matheson from the Final Leader Declaration photo opportunity due to pressure from Chinese officials a sad day for democracy.

“Freedom of the press should be paramount,” Dr Moyes said.

“Free speech was censored in our soil due to pressure from Chinese [regime] officials. The basic rights of journalists and reporters have been violated and dismissed.”

New Zealand-based Miss Matheson was among around 50 photographers ready to cover the event when a security guard approached her and said Chinese officials had made a complaint about The Epoch Times being present at the ceremony.

“We have copped a huge amount of flak from the Chinese – they are afraid you are going to speak out,” he was quoted as saying.

Miss Matheson, along with several local and international media, were deliberately moved to another location, out of sight of the leaders.

A female officer apparently assigned to stay next to Miss Matheson said: “We live in a democratic country, but when they come over here they have all these demands. We don’t like it either.”

Three black-suited Chinese agents appeared on the scene shortly after and stood “within two metres of me”, Ms Matheson said.

“There was no photo opportunity at this site and we stood there until about 2.50pm when the security lady [Nicole] suddenly ran away – and the Chinese security agents also left.”

APEC media staff then moved the group to a further site by a water fountain where they were able to photograph a few remaining leaders, Miss Matheson said.

Dr Moyes said the incident is a serious breach of basic media rights in Australia.

“This sets a dangerous precedent and is a worrying trend as most Australians are unaware that their basic right to know about Government operations has been eroded,” he said. “This issue is of profound public interest and warrants national prominence and priority.”

Dr Moyes is no stranger to Chinese officials wanting to influence affairs in Australia. Four days prior to the APEC incident, Dr Moyes was host to a China human rights forum inside Parliament House. Chinese officials reportedly called the president of the NSW Upper House, Peter Primrose, a Labor MP, before the forum to seek an urgent meeting.

“I can confirm Chinese Embassy officials approached the Parliament to protest at the holding of a function on human rights in China,” Mr Primrose told The Daily Telegraph .

– Original report from the Epochtimes: “Freedom of the Press Should Be Paramount”

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