Dai Zigeng, 55, a former editor-in-chief of state media group Beijing News, has been detained since earlier this month. The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) only posted a short notice on June 10th stating that Dai was under investigation due to suspected “serious violations” of the Party’s discipline.
“By detaining a seasoned journalist without solid ground, the Beijing regime once again shows its absolute disrespect for freedom of the press,” protests Cedric Alviani, the head of RSF’s East Asia office, urging for “the immediate release of Dai Zigeng and all other journalists detained in China.”
Dai worked at Beijing News from 2003 to 2017, including six years as the editor-in-chief. During his term of office, the group earned the reputation of a media that dared to speak unpopular truths. In August 2017, Dai was abruptly transferred to be the head of a state-owned investment firm, a “promotion” which daily newspaper Hong Kong Minpo took as a sign that the journalist might be under investigation.
At least 112 journalists and bloggers are currently jailed in life-threatening conditions in China. The country is ranked 177th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index.