Foreign correspondents in the country concluded that things are deteriorating rapidly with freedom of the press in China. Among other things, China is using the Corona restrictions to put pressure on journalists from abroad, says the Federal Communications Commission. Every year, this association makes an inventory of reporters on the state of a free press.
This year, 150 journalists completed the questionnaire and for the third year in a row, none of the respondents said that working conditions had improved.
According to the report, the Chinese state is using everything it can to harass and intimidate journalists, their Chinese colleagues, and interviewees. The Federal Communications Commission says China is using the Corona pandemic, among other things, to further curb foreign journalists in the guise of public health.
Withdrawal of accreditation
This is done through monitoring systems, but also by repeatedly testing journalists to detect corona in order to delay their work. Correspondents have also been given the option in some cases to leave immediately or go into quarantine for 14 days.
The association says visa restrictions are also a proven way to block reporters. At the end of March 2020, China also closed its borders to foreigners with valid travel documents. These restrictions were later lifted step by step, except for “a large number” of foreign journalists.
In the first half of 2020, China withdrew Accreditation Among the 18 journalists are from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. This came in response to a US decision to cancel work permits for dozens of Chinese journalists.
No hotel room
In addition to the Corona pandemic, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Tibet are also autonomous regions Inner Mongolia Injustice to the Uyghurs are issues that do not satisfy the state.
The association concluded that journalists covering Uyghurs face severe intimidation. For example, messengers in that region have had to delete photos or other data. In a number of cases, journalists have been prevented from booking a hotel room or have arrested themselves or a colleague.
Last week, the House of Representatives described the way China deals with this population with genocide. In the region in the west of the country, more than a million Uighurs and other Muslims may be held in concentration camps and detention centers.
NOS reporter Sjoerd den Daas in October saw how China is trying to keep these concentration camps a secret: