Party elders attack China censors
Beijing News at a newspaper stand - 30/12/05
There has been a crackdown on campaigning publications
A group of former senior Communist party officials in China have launched a scathing attack on the country's handling of the media and information.
In an open letter, the group denounced the recent closure of investigative newspaper Bingdian (Freezing Point).
They said strict censorship may "sow the seeds of disaster" for China's political transition.
Among the signatories are an ex-aide to Mao Zedong, a former newspaper editor and a former party propaganda chief.
"History demonstrates that only a totalitarian system needs news censorship, out of the delusion that it can keep the public locked in ignorance," the group said in the letter, according to Reuters news agency.