China is world's largest prison for journalists: RSF report

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China is world's largest prison for journalists: RSF report

  • At least 127 journalists are being detained in China for reporting on sensitive topics, said Reporters Without Borders while adding that the country is the world`s biggest captor of journalists.
  • The journalists were detained for reporting and disseminating the content that the ruling Chinese Communist Party deemed “sensitive.”
  • These journalists include both professional and non-professional media workers.

127 journalists currently in detention

  • Reporters Without Borders informed in a report that at least 127 journalists (professional and non-professional) are currently detained by the regime, revealing the extent of the regime`s campaign of repression against the right to information.
  • The watchdog added in the report that, “Simply investigating a “sensitive” topic or publishing banned information can lead to years of confinement in unsanitary prisons, where ill-treatment can lead to death.”
  • The RSF report also details how journalists are being pressured to act as Xi Jinping’s mouthpiece.
  • According to the report, journalists will soon be required to attend a 90-hour annual training focused on Xi Jinping`s thoughts in order to get and renew their press cards.
  • In the year 2020, China’s intimidation of foreign reporters, based on surveillance and visa blackmail, forced 18 of them to leave the country, it also said.
  • The Chinese Communist Party also detained at least ten journalists and online commentators in the same year, according to Reporters Without Borders, for the mere act of telling the public about the Covid-19 situation in Wuhan.
  • Meanwhile, the government of China has also unveiled a series of plans that are seen to further consolidate the Chinese Communist Party’s control over the media.
  • It has long kept a tight grip on its press and flow of information to its public.
  • Some press freedom organisations, however, claim that the ruling party has tightened control over the media.

Reporters Without Borders

  • RSF is an international non-profit and non-governmental organization with the stated aim of safeguarding the right to freedom of information.
  • It describes its advocacy as founded on the belief that everyone requires access to the news and information, in line with Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that recognizes the right to receive and share information regardless of frontiers, along with other international rights charters.
  • RSF has consultative status at the United Nations, UNESCO, the Council of Europe, and the International Organisation of the Francophonie.