RSF concerned by bomb threats made in the name of Europe-based journalists covering China

PHOTO: Bart Maat / AFP

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) denounces a recent wave of false bomb threats made by anonymous individuals under the name of two journalists based in Germany and the Netherlands who were reporting on a Chinese dissident, and calls on the respective authorities to conduct thorough investigations to identify those responsible.

Marije Vlaskamp, a Dutch journalist working for daily newspaper de Volkskrant and reporting on Netherlands-based Chinese dissident Wang Jingyu, recently revealed that an anonymous informant accused her of planning a bomb attack on the Chinese embassies in The Hague (Netherlands) and Oslo (Norway) in late 2022. Vlaskamp also received a booking confirmation she had never made for a hotel located in the neighbourhood of the Chinese embassy in the Hague, and was harassed online by an unknown individual who urged her to stop reporting on the dissident. 

Germany-based Chinese journalist Su Yutong, who reported on the same dissident for Radio Free Asia, was the victim of similar harassment including anonymous calls to the police claiming that she was plotting bomb attacks, and the booking in her name of a dozen hotels in Berlin (Germany), New York, Huston, Los Angeles (USA), Istanbul (Turkey), Hong Kong and Macau (China). Su was also forced to move to another address after she received rape and death threats and witnessed anonymous individuals knocking at her apartment door.

These particularly vicious methods, although anonymous, bear all the characteristics of the Chinese regime’s intimidation tacticsWe call on the German and Dutch authorities to conduct in-depth and transparent investigations so that the perpetrators of these egregious acts can be identified and punished.

Cédric Alviani
RSF East Asia Bureau Director

After Dutch police linked the threats to IP addresses located in Mainland China and Hong Kong,  the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs asked Beijing for “clarification”. Around the same period, Chinese American activist Bob Fu, who helped the Chinese dissident to flee to the Netherlands, was also named in at least three bomb threats received by luxury hotels in various US cities.

In a previous report entitled China’s Pursuit of a New World Media Order, published in 2019, RSF denounced the manoeuvres undertaken by the Beijing regime to export its repressive vision of information.

China ranks 175th out of 180 in the 2022 RSF World Press Freedom Index and is the world's largest captor of journalists.

179/ 180
Score : 22.97
21/ 180
Score : 81.91
6/ 180
Score : 87
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