In submission to UN panel, RSF calls on the Chinese regime to free all journalists it detains
In a submission to a United Nations human rights panel, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the People’s Republic of China to release all media professionals and press freedom defenders it detains, and to give up its policy of censorship and information control.
On 18 July 2023, RSF submitted a contribution with recommendations to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, which will conduct its fourth Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the People’s Republic of China’s human rights performance early next year.
“Despite its commitments made before the UN members in 2018, the Chinese regime routinely violates the public’s right to information and represses the exercise of independent journalism with extreme violence. The international community must seize the opportunity presented by this review to confront the regime with its contradictions and increase its pressure for the regime to put an end to its policy of censorship and information control and immediately release all detained journalists and press freedom defenders.
On paper, the Chinese Constitution enshrines “freedom of speech [and] of the press”. In 2018, following its most recent UPR, which reviews the human rights achievements of all UN member states, the regime pledged to “protect and guarantee” these rights. But the situation in the country has continued to worsen: in a joint midterm assessment published in December 2021, RSF and a coalition of NGOs denounced the regime's hypocrisy and pointed out the concerning gap between the country’s stated commitment and its actual track record.
Since Chinese leader Xi Jinping took power in 2012, he has been conducting a large-scale crusade against journalism as revealed in RSF’s report The Great Leap Backwards of Journalism in China, which details Beijing’s efforts to control information and media within and outside its borders.
China ranks 179th out of 180 in the 2023 RSF World Press Freedom Index and is the world's largest captor of journalists and press freedom defenders with at least 112 detained.