A leading newspaper that ran an investigative report on Beijing's recent deadly floods has been accused by the city's authorities of 'violating press regulations' and now faces the risk of its operations being suspended.
The city's cultural enforcement agency yesterday raided the Economic Observer's headquarters and removed its sign outside the office.
Sources said the raid on the business weekly came two days after its latest edition was pulled from newsstands by the municipal authorities, which accused it of violating a ban on newspapers from reporting outside of the jurisdiction where they are registered.
The management at the Observer, which is registered in Shandong province, refused to comment on the raid, but a reporter said enforcement officials, under the direction of the cultural authorities, sealed off the newspaper's office before removing the front sign.
The reporter, who asked not to be named, said the crackdown was directly related to the paper's investigative reports on last month's floods, but the reporter was not sure which report angered the authorities.
The July 21 storm, which left 79 people dead, triggered a huge public outcry over the sad state of Beijing's drainage system.
Another reporter, who also declined to be named, said they were raided because their reports revealed that more flood victims were still unaccounted for.
He said the management was in talks with the authorities to resolve the situation.