US Journalist Describes Chinese Government Attempts to Silence Reporting from Xinjiang

July 15, 2005

In "Silenced," Serena Fang, a journalist with the Public Broadcasting System program "Frontline," describes the treatment she and her interview subject received at the hands of Chinese authorities for conducting an interview that was not authorized by the government:

The on-camera interview ended around sunset, and Fang and the Uighur man left his small hotel room together. As they stepped outside, two men grabbed them, showed them police identification and escorted them back to the Uighur man's hotel room.

"They had him stand against the wall," recalls Fang. "He was so frightened that he fell to his knees and passed out. They took him to another room, and when they brought him back, he was just crying. Crying with his head in his hands."

The Chinese police confiscated Fang's videotape of the interview with the Uighur man.

Fang reports that she has not been able to learn anything about the man's whereabouts since the incident.