A Bloomberg News journalist was assaulted yesterday in Beijing while covering the deployment of police in response to online calls for protests in the Chinese capital.
At least five men in plain clothes, who appeared to be security personnel, punched and kicked the reporter at Beijing’s Wangfujing shopping street at 2:45 p.m. local time yesterday. They also took the video camera he was carrying and detained him in a roadside store.
Uniformed police arrived after the attack and escorted the journalist to a nearby station where he filed a report of the attack before seeking treatment for his injuries at a local hospital. Police returned the video camera while the reporter was at the station, saying a passerby had found it.
Hundreds of police deployed in Beijing and Shanghai yesterday at the site of planned demonstrations called to protest corruption and misrule. In Beijing, few protesters were apparent amid the police presence. In Shanghai, at least seven people were bundled into police vans near Shanghai’s People’s Square
An open letter on the U.S.-based website Boxun.com called for people to gather in at least 27 sites around the country from Tibet to Manchuria for “jasmine” rallies, named after the uprising last month in Tunisia. “Come out and take a stroll at two o’clock on Sundays to look around,” the letter said.
In Beijing, on the corner of Jinyu Hutong and Wangfujing Street, police officers asked for passports of people who appeared foreign. Journalists were asked to show their press cards and their information was taken down in a notebook and they were reminded about the rules on interviews.