NGO Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP), part of the Uyghur American Association (UAA), has recently revealed that 58 journalists, editors and publishers from the Xinjiang region (northwest) are being detained in China, bringing the count made by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) to a total 111 detainees for the country.
“This report, that comes in spite of Beijing’s media blackout, demonstrates the extent of the violations of press freedom in the Xinjiang region,” said Cédric Alviani, the head of RSF East Asia bureau, who called on the Chinese authorities to “immediately release all imprisoned journalists in the country.”
Over the past two years, the Chinese authority’s systemic crackdown on the Turkic Muslim population in Xinjiang has lead to the arbitrary detention of as many as 1.5 million persons.
Leading Uyghur citizen-journalist Ilham Tohti, and webmaster Gulmira Imin, are both being detained with a life sentence for "separatism". Last August, Megha Rajagopalan, the head of Buzzfeed Beijing was expelled from China for her reporting on the Xinjiang region.
China fell further down to 177 out of 180 in the 2019 RSF Press Freedom Index.