In a joint assessment published on 1st December 2021, Reporters Without Borders (RSF), along with International Service of Human Rights (ISHR), Front Line Defenders, Safeguard Defenders, and The 29 Principles, denounced China’s obvious unwillingness to improve human rights, including freedom of the press and the right to information, despite the commitments it made following the 2018 United Nations Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process. On the contrary, the regime has further increased its control over the media and intensified the persecution of journalists and press freedom defenders, at least 127 of whom are detained according to RSF’s last count.
"President Xi Jinping's refusal to implement the human rights commitments he made before the United Nations not only denotes a rare hypocrisy, but also a total disrespect towards the institution”, says RSF East Asia bureau head, Cédric Alviani, who calls on the international community to “build up pressure on the Chinese regime to deter it from continuing its repressive policies and to secure the immediate release of all detained journalists and press freedom defenders”.
Following the UPR, the Chinese government accepted 284 recommendations, including to “protect and guarantee respect for freedom of information and expression, in particular by journalists”, to “guarantee freedom of opinion and expression, enhancing efforts to create an environment in which journalists [..] can freely operate in accordance with international standards”, to “ensure a safe environment for journalists”, and to “remove restrictions on freedom of expression and press freedom, including on the Internet”.
In a report titled The Great Leap Backwards of Journalism in China, to be published in December 2021, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) investigates in detail the system of censorship and information control put in place by the Beijing regime and the threat it poses to press freedom and democracy in the world.
The People's Republic of China ranks 177th out of 180 in the 2021 RSF World Press Freedom Index.
Read the joint assessment in its entirety: