The Chinese authorities must immediately release three citizen journalists detained since the weekend for highlighting a security crackdown in Beijing for the annual parliamentary session currently under way, said Amnesty International.
Liu Xuehong, Xing Jian and Wang Jing, - who all write for the Chinese website 64 Tianwang - were taken away by police in separate raids in Beijing over the weekend.
“Journalism is not a crime and these three activists should be released immediately,” said William Nee China Researcher at Amnesty International.
“Their detention shows the disturbing lengths the authorities are willing to go to control the message during the National People’s Congress.”
The three citizen journalists have been criminally detained on suspicion of "picking quarrels and provoking troubles”. All had been reporting on the plight of petitioners near Tiananmen Square.
Scores of petitioners are being prevented from protesting as part of a security crackdown during the National People’s Congress China’s annual parliamentary session which began last Wednesday and runs for 10 days.