China: RSF calls for release of three journalists investigating workers conditions
RSF denounces the arrest in Guangzhou of three journalists as part of a crackdown on a workers protest movement and demands their immediate release.
Yang Zhengjun, the editor-in-chief of labour rights news outlet iLabour.net, was arrested in Guangzhou last January. On March 20, two other editors from the same outlet, Wei Zhili, and Ke Chengbing, were also detained by the police. According to their relatives, the three journalists were arrested because they denounced life threatening working conditions in some Chinese factories.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Chinese authorities for the immediate release of the three journalists. “There are absolutely no grounds for their detention, said Cédric Alviani, the head of the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) East Asia bureau, who insisted that “investigating factory safety is not a crime, but on the contrary an important contribution for the Chinese public’s access to information.”
The three journalists are the latest victims in a long line of detainments and “disappearances” that have occurred since the beginning of the workers protest at Jasic Technology in July 2018. At least 44 workers and rights defenders are believed to be detained in relation to this case.
China holds the highest number of journalists in prison, with at least 60 currently behind bars. China ranked 176 out of 180 in the 2018 RSF World Press Freedom Index.