Sun, Oct 02, 2016 - Page 3 News List

RSF calls for ban on Taiwanese journalists to be lifted

Staff writer, with CNA

Reporters Without Borders (RSF), which monitors freedom of speech around the world, on Friday denounced the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for barring Taiwanese journalists from covering its three-yearly assembly in Montreal, and urged the organization to immediately grant access to the journalists.

“Journalists should not be prohibited from covering events because of their nationality or the nationality of the media they are affiliated with,” Delphine Halgand, the US director of RSF, said in a statement.

“The work of the International Civil Aviation Organization is of important public interest and journalists from Taiwan should not be restricted for political reasons,” Halgand said.

RSF said that Taiwanese journalist Chang Chia (張加), who works for the Chinese-language United Daily News, was told that her accreditation was refused because of her Taiwanese nationality, while Hu Yu-li (胡玉立), a reporter for the Central News Agency who has Canadian nationality, was told she could not be accredited to cover the meetings, because she writes for a Taiwanese news agency.

“RSF calls on the ICAO to immediately grant these journalists access to this important event,” the statement said.

The ICAO Assembly, which started on Tuesday, is being held in Montreal and is to conclude on Friday. The organization is a specialized UN agency responsible for establishing worldwide aviation policies.

It is widely believed that Taiwan, which is not an ICAO member, was not invited to this year’s assembly because of objections from Beijing, and all journalists from Taiwanese media have also been denied access to the event.

In 2013, the ICAO initially also rejected all applications from Taiwanese journalists to cover its 38th assembly, but changed its policy toward Taiwan based on an endorsement from Beijing.

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