Chinese authorities deny police assault on Asahi reporter
Public security officials in eastern China say they have uncovered no evidence that local police officers roughed up an Asahi Shimbun reporter during a demonstration last month.
The officials told The Asahi Shimbun on Aug. 27 that they have suspended further investigations into the July 28 incident, which left reporter Atsushi Okudera with head and back injuries that took two weeks to heal.
Okudera, the newspaper's Shanghai-based correspondent, was photographing a mass demonstration in the Qidong district of Nantong, Jiangsu province, when 15 to 20 uniformed police officers pushed him to the ground and assaulted him.
The Qidong public security officials summoned Okudera to notify him of the investigation results one month after he filed his complaint on July 28. Officials told Okudera there was no evidence that any police officers had assaulted him.
"We investigated the case but found no such incident (assault) took place," the officials said. "We will re-open the investigation if there is new evidence."
The officials also said they had not found Okudera's camera, which was stolen during the assault.
Okudera told the public security officials their findings were unacceptable because The Asahi Shimbun has obtained an account from a local resident who saw the police turn on him.
"In no way can we accept investigation results denying the assault on Okudera ever took place," said Tsutomu Watanabe, who heads The Asahi Shimbun's Foreign News Section. "The Asahi Shimbun will once again file a protest with the government of China and call for continued investigations and elucidation of the truth."
The Asahi Shimbun AJW
28 August 2012
Atsushi Okudera (The Asahi Shimbun)