Wednesday, December 12, 2007

[The Chosun Ilbo, December 7 2007] Police Reporters Protest Pressroom Closure

Reporters on the National Police Agency beat on Thursday issued a statement of protest after all-night sit-ins since Nov. 30 failed to prevent the closure of their pressroom. "It is people's right to know that we are determined to defend,” they said and called on the agency to end attempts under a draconian new government press policy “to obstruct press monitoring.”

"Reporters have been sticking it out with candles” in the pressroom when electricity and heating were cut off, the statement said. “This shows they are willing to defend the freedom of the press against those in power. With about 10 days remaining until election day, we reject the government’s attempt to close down pressrooms." They said police “cut off communication, electricity and heating to the pressroom. They disconnected all equipment necessary for reporters in gathering information and writing and filing stories. This government, which owes its mandate to a candlelight vigil” -- a reference to an anti-American protests in 2002 that fueled enthusiasm for the Left - “is now attempting to blow out the candles in the pressrooms." But the reporters said the government can do nothing “to prevent new candles from being lit everywhere near them."

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